Automotive Training Center Marks 20 Years Of Hands-On Learning, Employment

Tataiana Taylor loves working with her hands. Her goal is to become a technician at an automotive dealership. As a student in the Automotive Technician Training Program at New Community Workforce Development Center, Taylor is well on her way to achieving her dream.

Taylor spoke as a representative of the current class of automotive students at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Automotive Training Center, which brought together employer partners, past graduates, Workforce staff and students from the various education and occupational training programs.

“It’s a really great opportunity and I’m thankful for it,” Taylor said of the Automotive Training Program, which is backed by Ford Motor Company. “It’s a positive learning environment,” she added.

New Community celebrated its accomplishments over the last two decades since the Automotive Training Center opened at 210 West Bigelow St. in Newark in 1996. Richard Liebler, chief administrative officer at Sansone Auto Mall, had met New Community’s founder, Monsignor William J. Linder, years ago and struck up a partnership to launch a program in Newark for auto mechanics.

“You all have a good future ahead of you,” Liebler said during his remarks at the ceremony.

“We have opportunities for you,” added Dan Yurowski, field service engineer at Ford, who met with auto students that he hopes to turn into future employees.

Esperanza Maldonado, who has worked for Liebler for more than a decade, described her personal story of getting arrested and running afoul with the law as a teenager. While staying at a halfway house, Maldonado learned about NCC’s automotive program and enrolled.

“I was not only taught a trade, I was taught life skills. That’s an important part of the puzzle,” said Maldonado, who works in sales. “I sometimes wonder where I would be if I hadn’t walked into New Community.”

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