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College Pt. facility named for automotive school site

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The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association signed a deal last week to bring a national automotive school to its planned state-of-the-art facility in College Point.

With Queens Borough President Helen Marshall acting as a witness, Lincoln Technical Institute President Larry Brown and GNYADA President Mark Schienberg officially okayed a 15-year lease to have Lincoln occupy the new $25 million training center, scheduled to be constructed over the next 16 months.

“I’m very excited about the project because it’s going to provide real jobs for a growing industry,” Marshall said.

The Center for Automotive Education & Training will be built in an empty lot behind the GNYADA’s headquarters at 18-10 Whitestone Expressway in the College Point Corporate Park.

The school will be the first of its kind in the nation, Schienberg said. Nowhere else has an automotive association partnered with a technical school to bring a training center on its own grounds, he said.

The GNYADA is best known for the New York International Auto Show it runs at the Jacob Javits Convention Center every year. The association lobbies in Albany on behalf of 650 franchised new vehicle dealerships in the metropolitan region.

Lincoln will take up 60,000 square feet of the 100,000-square-foot facility. The remainder of the building will be used by smaller automotive training schools. Schienberg described the facility as “state-of-the-art,” stocked with sophisticated repair equipment and computer-based classrooms.

Lincoln will train about 1,000 students a year in a 40-week program, Brown said.

The creation of the school is in response to the growing demand for automotive technicians. Nationwide, there is a shortage of 60,000 such workers, said Chris Sams, a spokesman for GNYADA.

Brown said Lincoln has two schools in New Jersey but none in New York City.

“There are a number of students on this side of the river who want training, and there really is no school,” he said.

Schienberg said graduates from the school could expect to earn $40,000 a year, while the best automotive technicians make more than $100,000 annually.

“There are more computer systems in a car today than in the ship that landed on the moon in 1969,” he said. “[Cars] are very, very sophisticated equipment that takes a new generation of young people to fix them.”

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 141.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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