College christens new auto building

NORWALK - Cerritos College hosted a dedication ceremony May 21 for its newly-completed Automotive Partners Building.More than 300 people including college officials, community members, auto manufacturers, dealers, industry partners, dignitaries, faculty, staff and students marked the occasion with an unveiling of commemorative plaques and a ribbon-cutting. The 10,642 square foot building is a unique facility serving the college's industry partners such as the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association and Northwood University's West Coast program center that offers a bachelor's degree in automotive management and marketing. The new building also houses the college's Advanced Transportation Technology and Energy program. The new $5.1 million Automotive Partners Building was supported in part by major donors and local bond funds. The SMCDA and Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association each contributed $500,000 and Supervisor Don Knabe contributed $100,000 to the project. A surprise gift arrived the day before the ceremony when the Conant Auto Retail Group, one of the largest and fastest growing privately-owned auto groups, came forward with a $100,000 donation. In his remarks, Knabe said "the building is about much needed industry workforce training and the latest and greatest technology." Assemblyman Warren Furutani also praised the project as "a fantastic example" of partnership among public and private education and industry. Another highlight of the program was the showcase of vehicles brought by the world's top car manufacturers. Cars on display included the BMW 535i (U.S. release date is June 19, 2010), Dodge Durango Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Long Beach Transit Bus V10 gas engine, Mitsubishi full electric i-MiEV, Subaru Outback and Volkswagen Jetta TDI.

********** Published: June 4, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 7