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Brown’s Ford donation to benefit HFM auto programs

A local business with a long history of advocating for Career and Technical Education has made a large donation to help support automotive education programs for area students.

Brown’s Ford, a family owned business, which operates dealerships and repair centers in Amsterdam and Johnstown, recently donated $20,000 to the automotive programs at the HFM Career and Technical Center. The funds will be used to purchase equipment, tools and other material for the center’s Auto Body Repair program and the Automotive Technology program.

Three people pose for a photo in front of a red tool chest.

From left, HFM Autobody Repair Instructor John Ackermann, Brown’s owner Derek Brown and HFM Auto Technology Instructor Tad Davis. Brown’s Ford recently donated $20,000 for the auto programs at the HFM Career and Technical Center.

“Technical schools and the trades are extremely important today” owner Derek Brown said. “We appreciate all the work HFM does and we want to support it.”

This isn’t the first time Brown’s Ford has helped advance Career and Technical Education in the area.

Brown’s is a longtime member of two professional advisory committees that serve the HFM Auto Body Repair and Auto Tech programs.

Each one of HFM’s 16 career and technical programs is supported by a committee of working professionals that advises instructors on workforce development needs and current practices being used in today’s workplaces. These advisory committees help ensure that a program’s curriculum is providing students with the skills needed to start a career.

HFM Auto Body Instructor John Ackermann and Auto Technology Instructor Tad Davis say advice from Brown’s has resulted in changes ranging from the use of new technology to lighting upgrades and other modifications in the shops.

In addition to serving on the advisory committees, Brown’s employees also regularly visit classrooms and talk with students about their trade and career paths. The company also regularly provides internships and after school jobs for students and full-time employment for graduates.

The HFM programs are now making plans to use the money and will seek input from Brown’s as well as students regarding needed equipment and tools.

“Industry partners such as Brown’s Ford help our programs keep pace with the ever-changing economy and workforce,” Career and Technical Center Principal Michael DiMezza said. “Thanks to our collaboration with employers, our students have the best possible opportunities for success.”