New Taylor Automotive Center to House Ranken’s Cutting-Edge Diesel Technology Program
Yesterday, Carolyn Kindle, vice president and executive director of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Wentzville Mayor Nick Guccione, Emerson President Edward Monser, UAW/GM Representative Vaughn Sanders and Ranken President Stan Shoun joined Wentzville officials and Ranken board members, staff and faculty to celebrate the opening of the new Taylor Automotive Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Afterwards, guests were invited to tour the two-story building, named after the Taylor Family, whose recent generous $5 million donation to the College will assist in providing the state-of-the-art equipment needed to give Ranken students a cutting-edge education in diesel mechanics.
“The Taylor family has long been ahead of the curve in recognizing the importance of technical education to the continued growth of the economy. This donation is a cornerstone in our long-term plan to expand our offerings and bring the Ranken experience to as many students as possible,” said Shoun. “With the education we can provide, Ranken will prepare students for the high-tech careers of the future, and help build a strong, skills-based workforce.”
Last summer, Ranken began construction on the Taylor Automotive Center, designing it to boast 35,000 sq. feet of garage space, a modern student lounge and multipurpose educational centers. The building will house Ranken’s Diesel Technology program, Information Technology and Building Systems Engineering Technology, as well as a call center for Enterprise Fleet Management, which will employ Ranken students.
Originally, the Diesel Technology program was set to begin at Ranken Wentzville when it opened in the spring of 2013. However, an overwhelming interest in the Automotive Maintenance Technology program and the need for a large amount of space for state-of-the-art Advance Manufacturing equipment left little room for the Diesel Technology program. Along with booming enrollment in all of Ranken Wentzville’s programs and the addition of evening programs for the Information Technology and Automotive Maintenance Technology programs, the need to expand became apparent.
Ranken’s Diesel Technology program was created to meet the growing need for heavy-duty service professionals in the transportation industry. Diesel technicians today must be prepared to work on a variety of systems from air brakes, to hydraulics, to air conditioning as well as the high-end multiplexed network of computers and electronics. The program is modeled to meet Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) standards, and it will prepare graduates to be career-ready diesel service technicians.
“There is a huge demand on the student and employer side for a Diesel Technology program,” said Automotive Division Head Dan Kania. “We have a large pool of prospective students who want to enroll in the program and many that say they will come back for the diesel program even after they have finished another Automotive program.”