Present at the auto donation to Georgia Northwestern’s Automotive Technology program are, from left, Pam Thompson, State Farm, LaFayette, Georgia; Phil Cagle, State Farm, LaFayette, Georgia; Justin Tomczak, State Farm Public Affairs Specialist, Mike Herndon, State Farm, Rock Spring, Georgia; Troy Peco, Georgia Northwestern Technical College Automotive Technology Director; Ronnie Holden, State Farm, Flintstone, Georgia; Georgia State Representative Jay Neal; Stephanie Snodgrass, Walker County Chamber of Commerce President; and Andy Skates, State Farm Claims Team Manager.
- photo by Don Foley
“Turning bad times into good times is sort of what we both do in insurance and automotive technology. It’s a great thing,” said Georgia Northwestern Technical College Automotive Technology Director Troy Peco after receiving the keys to a 2007 Chevrolet Impala donated to his program by State Farm Insurance.
Georgia Northwestern, the state’s fourth-largest technical college, is part of the Technical College System of Georgia which helps train local residents for local careers. “It’s like the college says. It’s your town, your college, and your future. We just wanted to invest in it,” said State Farm Insurance Agent Ronnie Holden.
The donation of a hail-damaged car was part of a process between local agents Holden and Mike Herndon and the State Farm’s Claims Department. “Mr. Peco came to us a few months back asking about the possibility of something like this happening. It just felt like the right thing to try to do,” said Holden. “They are training our people for careers. Plus, it’s always good to find a quality auto mechanic. Well, Georgia Northwestern is where they start.”
The vehicle was one which State Farm had totaled due to the weather damage it sustained. “That’s not a problem for this kind of donation, though,” said Peco. “Mechanically, the car is in good shape. Plus, being a 2007, it has the technology with which the students need experience. Most of our students will be looking for jobs here at home. That means they could end up working on your car. This is actually more of an investment in the community.”
Joining Holden, Herndon, and Peco for the donation on July 19 was Phil Cagle and Pam Thompson from State Farm in LaFayette, Georgia State Representative Jay Neal, Walker County Chamber of Commerce President Stephanie Snodgrass, and State Farm officials Andy Skates and Justin Tomczak.
The Automotive Technology program at Georgia Northwestern offers degrees, diploma, and certification programs throughout the year. Georgia Northwestern offers more than 200 programs on five campuses, as well as online. More than 10,000 students are educated by the region’s largest college each year. Georgia Northwestern is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.
Application deadline for the fall semester at Georgia Northwestern is July 24. Registration deadline is August 9. Classes begin on-campus and online Aug. 20. For more information about this donation or the automotive program, contact Georgia Northwestern at 706/764-3813 or e-mail to email@example.com.