The grant funded the purchase of two pieces of equipment---an alignment machine and a paint prep station, which will expand the safety and technological capacity of the program.
A critical component of the automotive technology program is having students diagnose all problems with vehicles that are brought to the shop, located in Canton High School, and complete the repair. The alignment machine allows students to utilize current technology and align the majority of vehicles on the road. It also teaches students how to service vehicles with new steering and suspension designs such as electronic steering, electronic ride control and even autonomous driving cars.
“I have started to see students take to doing alignments and not give up until the vehicle is 100 percent correct. These are students who are going into the automotive repair business and have a drive for doing alignments. It will only pay off for them in the future,” CTE teacher Jerry Lickey said. “This is the first step in turning the advance automotive training center into a true state-of-the-art training center, and we are truly excited about what the future will bring.”
The second piece of equipment is a paint prep work station for students in the automotive paint collision repair and restoration program. This prep station is utilized in all aspects of the painting and auto body repair process and provides students and faculty the safest workspace possible by mitigating many pollutants, dust and debris that is generated when working on the vehicles.
The automotive technology program has gone through substantial change throughout the years, transitioning from an “automotive hobby shop” to an “automotive training center.” The curriculum has become more rigorous and the program has had an increase in enrollment. These two pieces of equipment purchased with the grant from the Margaret Dunning Foundation help provide a relevant, rigorous and engaging curriculum.
“We were thrilled to receive the support from the foundation,” EEF Executive Director Gretchen Ward said. “This equipment helps give our P-CCS students a unique skill set that will help them transition in to the workforce or advance their studies in post-secondary education in the safest environment possible.”
The EEF, founded in 1985, is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation for the exclusive purpose of providing financial and other support for students and teachers in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools district. The foundation enhances educational experiences by funding projects not supported by tax dollars. Additionally, the foundation provides financial and grant-making services to a number of donor-advised funds, facilitates scholarships and hosts a number of fundraising events.
The Margaret Dunning Foundation was founded by Dunning in 1987. She was born in 1910 in Redford Township and moved with her mother to Plymouth in the 1920s. During her lifetime, Dunning was a successful business woman, philanthropist and civic booster. She was a major supporter of many Plymouth nonprofits, including the Plymouth District Library and the Plymouth Historical Society. In addition to her personal philanthropy, Dunning was a classic car enthusiast and regular participant in the Woodward Dream Cruise with her 1930 Packard 740 Roadster.
Dunning died in 2013 at the age of 104. Her estate provided additional funding for the Margaret Dunning Foundation, which continues to support her charitable interests and legacy. For more information, go to www.margaretdunningfdn.org.