Advance Auto Parts Foundation Gifts $125,000 to Durham Tech to Support Automotive Systems Technology Program 

Advance Auto Parts Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Advance Auto Parts, Inc., a leading automotive aftermarket parts supplier, has announced a $125,000 gift to Durham Tech Foundation aimed at providing financial support to Durham Tech Community College’s automotive systems technology program. 

The funds will go toward student scholarships, needed technology, tools, equipment and an apprenticeship program to provide hands-on job experience. 

Starting this fall, the Advance Auto Parts Foundation’s gift will help five students enrolling in the automotive systems technology program by funding $3,000 scholarships for each student to offset educational expenses. The funds will also be used to purchase toolkits and laptops with training software to loan out to students who need them. In addition, the gift will provide for the purchase and/or lease of other training technologies and equipment to upgrade classrooms and help facilitate student learning. Finally, a portion of the gift will fund the creation and implementation of a paid apprenticeship program with a local repair shop that will provide students with hands-on job experience to build skills and make a direct connection with a local employer.  

“The Advance Auto Parts Foundation is committed to raising awareness, attracting talent and enabling career opportunities in the automotive technology field,” said Elisabeth Eisleben, president, Advance Auto Parts Foundation. “By providing resources and support to Durham Technical Community College, we hope to enhance the student learning experience, as well as inspire students from all backgrounds to explore careers in automotive service and repair. We believe this will help address the technician shortage and benefit our industry and society as a whole.” 

Durham Tech President J.B. Buxton said the partnership will help the college in meeting growing demand for electric vehicle technicians and others in the automotive service and repair industry. “This partnership creates significant opportunity for our students and for supporting area workforce development,” Buxton said. “Durham Tech offers affordable, high-quality pathways to jobs and this scholarship will go a long way toward fully covering students’ expenses. In addition, the Advance Auto Parts Foundation’s generous support will help us keep providing talent needed for a rapidly changing industry.” 

This partnership comes at a critical time as the U.S. currently faces a worsening shortage of automotive technicians. In fact, according to TechForce, an automotive industry foundation dedicated to launching and advancing the careers of next generation technicians, the U.S is en route to see a shortage of 642,000 technicians by 2024, if trends continue. There is also a need for trained technicians to maintain and repair increasingly high-tech vehicles. Automotive technician jobs offer competitive pay and the satisfaction of helping customers get their vehicles back on the road safely. The Durham Technical Community College gift stands as the Advance Auto Parts Foundation’s third gift to a community college to support the expansion of automotive technology degree programs. 

Durham Technical Community College’s automotive systems technology program prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, service and maintain all types of automobiles. The program includes instruction in brake systems, electrical systems, engine performance, engine repair, suspension and steering, automatic and manual transmissions and drive trains, and heating and air condition systems. The program prepares students to take professional licensure exams and to enter careers as entry-level technicians in the transportation industry, upon graduation. Job demand in the automotive repair field is currently very high for the Durham-Chapel Hill region, with above-average salaries and nearly 100 percent of graduates finding immediate employment upon completion of the program. 

The program is accredited by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.