The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Toyota program comes to TCC

By Jason Middlebrooks/ south news editor

The Toyota technician and education networking program will start on South Campus in fall 2018. Toyota will also donate new tools and equipment.
Jason Middlebrooks/The Collegian

South Campus’ automotive department and Toyota have reached an agreement to offer the automaker’s technician training and education network program.

“We are going to teach young interns how to be a technician with a two-year degree,” South automotive instructor Steve Wille said. “The program will be part-time school, part-time work. They will become Toyota and Lexus technicians.”

Toyota’s technician training and education network, also known as T-TEN, is a partnership between Toyota, community colleges and technical schools. The program, which is targeted to start in fall 2018, will offer automotive students the opportunity to attend school and work with a paid internship. Wille, who has seven years experience as a Lexus master technician, will be the program coordinator.

“Programs like Toyota T-TEN are a direct link between our training and employment in an industry that impacts our community,” South automotive instructor Jim Martin said.

It all started when Martin attended a meeting with a Birdville technical instructor who said Toyota was looking for a school to offer the program due to the company moving its headquarters to Plano.

“I went on the internet and began emailing,” Martin said. “There were addresses for Toyota T-TEN people in the administrative position. I got a response and a phone call from a gentleman named Guillermo Lopez.”

Gulf States Toyota workforce development manager Guillermo Lopez says Fort Worth was not benefiting from the program for there were no schools that offered the program in the area.

The South Campus automotive shop is bring renovated for the Toyota partnership.
Jason Middlebrooks/The Collegian

“The market for service technicians has grown astronomically in Dallas/Fort Worth,” Lopez said. “Tarrant County was a great option, a no-brainer.”

Toyota has recently donated 12 Corollas for the students to work on with 25 more on the way. Toyota will also donate new tools and equipment.

The automotive center on campus is currently going through upgrades in preparation for the program. The ceiling tiles and light fixtures will be replaced while the classrooms and service center will be repainted. The service center will be repainted in the Toyota colors of red and white.

Wille says Toyota dealers often need new service technicians, and when word got out that the automaker was searching for a new school, they were looking forward to it.

Martin said he was just “at the right place, at the right time.”

“I am always job hunting for the students,” he said. “This could impact DFW for the next 20 to 30 years. This program has the potential to last not only a few years, but decades.”

Martin said the Toyota way of training its students will benefit automotive students outside the program.

“It’s going to trickle down,” he said. “Toyota is OK with it bettering and improving our entire program. They like it. Toyota is hoping this program will rise us to a master certification to match Toyota.”

The instructors hope that the T-TEN program will lead to other technical service programs for TCC with other automakers.

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