January 16, 2019 Richard Rezler
The Nissan Technical Center North America’s (NTCNA) donation of a 2018 Nissan Murano is being called a “turning point” for the Auto Service programs at Washtenaw Community College.
WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca and Dean of Advanced Technologies & Public Service Careers Brandon Tucker were on hand to receive the donation on Tuesday afternoon from representatives of the NTCNA, which employs 1,200 people in Farmington Hills.
“The ability to learn from the active systems that this vehicle will offer our students is a turning point,” said Tucker. “New vehicles are advancing at such a rate that it is challenging for institutions like ours to keep up with the newest technologies in the industry.”
The donation was coordinated by Paul Flohr, Test Lab Manager at the NTCNA. Flohr is a five-year member of the WCC Auto Service Advisory Committee, a panel of professionals that helps ensure the program is developing student skills that are relevant in the ever-changing industry.
“As an advisory committee member, I realize the importance of students getting the opportunity to work with the latest technologies,” Flohr said. “This donation from Nissan will make it easier for students to prepare themselves for jobs in today’s automotive industry.”
The Nissan Murano features 11 systems that are not available on any of the WCC Auto Service’s current fleet of vehicles:
Adaptive cruise control
Crash imminent braking
Blind spot detection
Forward collision warning
Lane departure warning
Lane keep support
Dynamic brake support
Pedestrian automatic braking
Automatic crash notification
Lab Senior Manager Ben Gassman and Human Resources Senior Manager David Venegas also visited the WCC campus to help deliver the donated vehicle. Considering that NTCNA has hired two WCC graduates and sent two employees to the college for additional training in recent years, Gassman said the center has a vested interest in contributing to the program.
“When our current workforce chooses to retire, and as our testing requirements increase, we need to keep our pipeline full of key talent,” Gassman said.
The Nissan Murano will also be a valuable tool within the college’s Advanced Transportation Center, which creates curriculum that combines advanced manufacturing and information technology to prepare students for careers related to autonomous and connected vehicles and intelligent transportation systems.
“We’re so grateful to the Nissan Technical Center North America not only for this generation donation, but also the continuous sharing of expertise they provide by having members on the Auto Service Advisory Committee,” Tucker said.
The Auto Service department at WCC offers Associate in Applied Science programs in Automotive Service Technology, Automotive Test Technician and Powertrain Development Technician; and an Automotive Services Technician certification program.
For more information, visit departments.wccnet.edu/advancedtech/auto-service.