Focus on the Foundation: Fueling Futures

Focus on the Foundation: Fueling Futures

Spring 2015

| By: Britten, Casey

Bergstrom Automotive and the FVTC Foundation team up to fill high-demand careers in the automotive retail industry.

Bergstrom Automotive, the leading automotive retailer in Wisconsin, is partnering with the Fox Valley Technical College Foundation to jumpstart careers for qualified auto technicians.

“We’ve had a 20-plus-year partnership with Fox Valley Technical College for brand-specific technician training focused mainly on General Motors,” states Bergstrom Executive Vice President and General Counsel John Hogerty.“Now, we’re working with the college on training for multiple vehicle brands and reaching out to students in its Adult Basic Education (ABE) program as well as high school students.”

The Bergstrom Scholars program provides funding and facilities to help students gain skills necessary to qualify for good-paying jobs. “There are currently 12 ABE students enrolled in the program,” says Scott Springstroh, FVTC automotive instructor. “These students will get their tuition paid and have an opportunity to gain employment as auto technicians at one of Bergstrom’s 28 dealerships.”

Bergstrom is also building auto-tech career awareness by helping fund four, college-level automotive courses at Neenah High School. “Students can earn first-year credit in Fox Valley Tech’s Automotive Technician or Automotive Technology programs,” says Springstroh. “This is the first year of the program, so we hope to start seeing Neenah students on campus by 2016.”

With more vehicles on the road and cars equipped with advanced technology, the demand for qualified automotive technicians continues to increase. “Our industry is growing, and there will be a steady demand for these skills,” says Hogerty. “Giving back to the community is an integral part of our company philosophy, and we are very excited about this partnership.”

Driving Affordability

In addition to the Bergstrom Scholars program, the Fox Valley Technical College Foundation supports other forms of career readiness for the transportation industry.

50 vehicles, ranging from full-size SUVs to hybrids and more, received as donations from General Motors over the past 15 years for training purposes, valued at an estimated $1 million.

19 scholarships available annually to FVTC students enrolled in transportation programs.