Subaru of America Inc. has partnered with Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) in Gresham, Oregon, to offer the nation’s first college degree in Subaru automotive technology, starting this fall.
Created in partnership with the Mt. Hood Community College Automotive Technology program to meet the rising industry demand for Subaru automotive technicians, the two-year, associate of applied science degree will prepare students to work at Subaru retailers by providing hands-on Subaru factory-certified training. Students will be paired with sponsoring Subaru retailers that will provide paid, on-the-job experience, as well as full-time positions after graduation.
The Subaru automotive technology degree expands upon the automaker’s existing relationship with MHCC, fostered through its Subaru U program, dedicated to providing knowledge of Subaru vehicles and systems to prepare students for possible future employment at Subaru retailers nationwide. MHCC first partnered with Subaru in 2015 to provide the Subaru U online factory certification to its automotive technology students. Since then, the training has been provided through the college’s automotive technology – IMPORT (Individualized Mechanical Program of Repair Technicians) associate degree program.
“Our students love Subaru vehicles and they frequently tell us they want to work on them,” said Eric Garvey, MHCC automotive instructor. “Plus, there’s a huge regional demand here in the Pacific Northwest for Subaru cars and SUVs, so it’s a win-win.”
MHCC is currently working with nine Subaru retailers throughout Oregon to provide students with sponsorships. In 2017, more than 30 students completed the Subaru U online factory certification, which Subaru provided at no cost to MHCC students. Subaru has also donated equipment and five training vehicles for Automotive Technology students to work on.
“We are thrilled to enhance our existing partnership with Mt. Hood Community College and provide greater opportunities for its dedicated students,” said Jim Pernas, Portland Zone Director at Subaru of America, Inc. “At Subaru, we are passionate about helping members of our local communities succeed and are excited to give aspiring Subaru technicians the tools they need to realize their full potential.”