Automotive center receives $100,000

Alicia Edquist, Advertising Manager/Lab Aide

Cerritos College received a check for $100,000 from Southland Motor Car Dealers Association during last Wednesday’s regular Cerritos College Board of Trustees meeting.

Dr. Ted Edmiston, president of the board, accepted the check from Todd Leutheuser, executive director of the association and board member of the Cerritos College Foundation.

The donation will go toward supporting the growth of the Cerritos College Automotive program in alternative fuel studies and for the development of the center.

This money will be used as seed money to fund a world-class automotive training center that will be a training facility for hydrogen and hybrid technology.

This project is a part of the projects list on the $210 million General Obligation Bond that was passed last March by the District residents.

“We’re truly honored to be part of the Cerritos College’s development of automotive technology,” said Leutheuser.

“The southland dealers chose Cerritos College for this program because they have one of the best programs in the state for this industry. With the vast majority of the auto technician workforce approaching retirement age, our industry is looking for trained technicians to hire into high-growth, high-wage positions. We feel that this could be the best private-public partnership facility in the country.”

Dr Noelia Vela, President of Cerritos College said, “This will be the nationwide model, hopefully worldwide as well and be the center for transportation technologies. The money will be used to attract seed money from the State.”

The college is in its first stages of planning a center for alternative fuel technologies.

There is a need for more training in the area of alternatively fueled vehicles due to increase in environmental protection coming from the state and federal government.

It’s the college’s hope that this center will be a resource center for the transportation industry.

“This will be a productive entity for the students and the college to share, grow, see and develop,” Leutheuser said.

“We feel that through a partnership between the SMCDA, Cerritos College and other partners, we can create one of the most comprehensive centers for transportation technologies in the nation,” Vela said. “We are excited about realizing this vision.”

Cerritos will continue to seek more partners like SMCDA to state-allocated funds the college may receive toward creating the advanced transportation technology center. SMCDA has represented the new franchised automotive dealers in the southern Los Angeles County. Its focus is education, political representation, and to promote the automotive retail industry to the public.