Prairie High School Students Check out Kirkwood’s Auto Tech/Collision Program

Kirkwood Community College provided Prairie High Schools students with a first-hand look at their Automotive Technician and Collision programs.  Students toured Kirkwood’s new automotive repair shop located in the former Midland Forge building.

The program offers students training to learn how to repair all major makes of vehicles. The classrooms are designed to allow for an entire vehicle to be brought in for hands on learning. The crown jewel is the thirty plus bay lab where students work with instructors to perform diagnostics and repairs. Mr. Jorgesen, an instructor with Kirkwood, reported every student that completes their program has at least two employers waiting to hire them as skilled technicians.

The next stop was the auto collision and restoration classrooms and labs. Graduates of this program are in high demand with immediate employment opportunities locally and across the nation.  The collision and repair program is located on the main campus and is slated for a future renovation to meet the growing needs of the program and industry.

Future Ready reports Iowa is in a “workforce crisis” including many of the Kirkwood programs.  By the year 2025, to fill current and anticipated job openings, Iowa will need 127,000 residents to earn post secondary degrees and or other diplomas/credentials.  41,200 of those will come from traditional learners ages 18 – 24 and the rest from returning learners or those ages 25+ who have never attended college. 

The automotive technology along with many other programs at Kirkwood qualify for Future Ready’s Last Dollar Scholarship.  This state – funded program is for Iowans who are new graduates or adult learners returning to college to gain more skills. The program as the name implies, is intended to cover any remaining gap between federal and state grants/scholarships. Unlike many financial aid programs, this is not income dependent.  To learn more about the Kirkwood programs and Last Dollar Scholarship, visit these sites:

Kirkwood’s Automotive Technology Program

Automotive Collision and Repair Program

Last Dollar Scholarship Information

Last Dollar Scholarship College Lists and Programs