Donated KIA

Students in Columbus Tech’s Automotive Technology program have a new tool with which to hone their skills.

The 2016 Optima that rolled into Columbus Tech’s automotive technology lab was donated by Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) and is a prototype vehicle intentionally manufactured for educational purposes. The Optima was donated to the College’s Foundation, which gave it to the automotive program.

Students, teachers around the donated Kia Optima
Students, faculty, and staff celebrate the arrival of their “new” KIA training vehicle. Clockwise around the car from front right: Jose Cabrera, Timothy Torok, Fred Riggins, Donovan Dawson, program director Alan Ashmore, instructor George Belk, Sharnee Bootz, Dean of Professional and Technical Services Dr. Dahmon King.

“This generous donation from KMMG is such a blessing and came at the perfect time,” said automotive technology program director Alan Ashmore. “Nothing beats getting under the hood and being able to provide hands-on training – especially on such a new model car.”

Student Jose Cabrera works on the Kia Optima
Automotive technology student Jose Cabrera gets under the hood of the donated KIA Optima.

The donated Optima is what KMMG refers to as a quality assessment vehicle. It is not made for the open road and, despite being four years old, has only ten miles on it; it was delivered to CTC on a flatbed truck. Jason Shin, the chief executive officer and president of KMMG, says these vehicles are the perfect fit for an up-close-and-personal learning environment like the Columbus Tech lab.

“We are donating models with the latest technology so students will be properly equipped with automotive knowledge that will help them succeed,” Shin said.

KMMG recently donated more than two dozen training vehicles to auto programs at schools throughout the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). To date, KMMG has donated 218 vehicles for educational and training purposes.

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