RCC Students Gain Real Life Experience at Petty’s Garage

ASHEBORO (August 26, 2014)

Five Randolph Community College students participated in a unique job-shadowing experience recently thanks to a new agreement between RCC and Petty’s Garage, Richard Petty’s high performance speed shop in Level Cross. Three Automotive Systems Technology students and two Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology students spent a week working alongside the technicians at Petty’s Garage. RCC has been affiliated with the Richard Petty brand since its state-of-the-art automotive training center was named the Richard Petty Education Center when it opened in 2009.

TOP:
Former NASCAR Champion driver Richard Petty (center) poses for a photo op with the students and instructors from Randolph Community College during the students’ internship week at Petty’s Garage. From left to right are Don Ashley, department head for RCC’s Automotive Systems Technology program; students Jacob Garner, Jacob Brown and Jake Flinchum; Danny Moore, department head for the Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology program; Petty; student Israel Velazquez; Automotive instructor Patrick Pardee; student Justin Lackey; and Collision Repair instructor Willie Brewer.

MIDDLE:
Randolph Community College Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology students (left to right) Justin Lackey of Trinity and Israel Velazquez of Asheboro, show their work at Petty’s Garage to RCC instructor Willie Brewer.

BOTTOM:
RCC Automotive Systems Technology students Jake Flinchum (left) of Seagrove and Jacob Garner (right) of Robbins help Petty’s Garage technician Doug Murph work on a car in the automotive shop, which specializes in all high performance upgrades including superchargers, custom projects, and restorations.


“RCC is delighted to extend our partnership with Richard Petty and his organization,” said RCC President Robert S. Shackleford Jr. “What an exciting opportunity to have students in RCC’s Richard Petty Education Center participate in an internship at Petty’s Garage in Level Cross. I am extremely pleased with this relationship.”

The students involved were Jacob Garner of Robbins, Jacob Brown of Ramseur, Jake Flinchum of Seagrove, Justin Lackey of Trinity, and Israel Velazquez of Asheboro. RCC instructors said the participating students were chosen based on their interest, availability, and grade point average.

“The Petty’s Garage and RCC student intern agreement will provide a great opportunity for select students to experience some of the lesser common branches of Collision Repair and Automotive skills such as body modifications as well as true restorations and, of course, increased performance,” said Danny Moore, department head for Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology. “The students will also be awakened to the need to absorb all the information and hands-on practices offered in the Collision Repair and Automotive programs while attending RCC.”

Don Ashley, department head for Automotive Systems Technology, agreed. “This agreement provides students real world experience in a working shop environment where they can further develop their employability skills; and also gives those students an opportunity to build on the instruction they have received while in our program(s). I believe this will be a great experience for our students!”

Greg Steadman, shop foreman at Petty’s Garage, said the students work on whatever current jobs are in the shop at the time of the internship. “We get to see the different talent come through the program, and the students benefit from it because all shops offer a different experience,” he said. In addition, Petty’s Garage will accept resumes from RCC students for job openings that come available during the terms of the agreement. Petty’s Garage already employs one RCC graduate, Robert Smith, who graduated in 2012 with an associate degree in Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology and a diploma in Autobody Repair. Smith is also an instructor for RCC’s Continuing Education autobody classes.

Randolph Community College’s Automotive Systems Technology program is designed to meet the need for preparing highly trained technicians to service and repair automobiles and light trucks with highly technical electrical, electronics, and emission control systems.

The Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology curriculum prepares individuals to become qualified technicians who possess the diverse skills required to perform quality repairs and proper refinishing techniques on automobile bodies and to diagnose and repair mechanical and electrical systems.

Enrollment in these programs has dramatically increased since the opening of the Richard Petty Education Center in 2009. This modern, 20,000-square-foot facility includes spacious automotive bays surrounded by the latest technology and equipment. Dedicated classrooms are equipped with electronic data projectors and Smart Boards, and a computer lab contains 20 computers with industry-specific software and wireless capabilities. The lobby of the center highlights its namesake with racing photographs and memorabilia, a Richard Petty history wall with the King’s signature, and a custom-designed couch made from a competition 80’s stock car. Above all, the facility provides a modern, comfortable, and safe learning environment.

For more information on RCC’s automotive programs, go to www.randolph.edu. Learn more about Petty’s Garage at www.pettys-garage.com.