Columbia-Greene Community College is nothing if not consistent. Several years ago, administrators introduced the Automotive Technology Department, an exhaustive training program that became the envy of neighboring colleges, two-year and four-year. This week, C-GCC unveiled another automotive program with the winning title Subaru University.
The two programs are polar opposites in one respect. The first program has a physical presence at the college. Subaru University is an online course only. But they share similar goals and they are important ones. Both are aimed at training young people for jobs in the immediate area, and in tough times. And both are geared toward attracting more students to C-GCC.
Subaru University gives students in the Automotive Technology Department an opportunity to undergo the training that prospective Subaru mechanics must go through. It replicates exactly the curriculum Subaru employs to train future automobile technicians.
The college held a start-up event at the technology center Thursday to pitch Subaru University to the community and beyond the Twin County borders as the start of the new academic year draws closer. Graduates of the program will be candidates for employment at area Subaru dealerships including R.C. Lacy in Catskill.
Columbia and Greene counties are in need of qualified, skilled workers who can keep cars on the road in an era of onboard automobile computers. Both counties are in need of holding on to those same young skilled workers by giving them opportunities for good-paying jobs instead of training them and seeing them take their talents elsewhere. And both counties need to hold on to young people to offset an aging population.
Subaru University is an excellent investment that should enhance a thinning skilled labor force. It’s a program that should be a source of employable young people for years to come in a region where automobiles are the lifeblood.