(Bradenton, FL—October 14, 2016) Manatee Technical College presented business-partner awards to Gettel Automotive Group, Johnson PhotoImaging, and Pierce Manufacturing at the institution’s semi-annual advisory committee meeting on October 14. At the same meeting, the Crosthwait Group and Air Products both awarded checks to the MTC Foundation to provide for student scholarships.
Fred Bartholomew, fixed operations director, received the award for Gettel Automotive Group, along with Jack Gorrill, service director for Gettel Toyota, and Jill George, service manager at Hyundai of Lakewood. Gettel hires MTC Automotive Service Technology graduates, places students with mentors, donated items for the MTC Annual Car Show, arranged for MTC to have access to Toyota’s Information System, has given students tours of their dealerships and provided them lunch, and has been very active on the program advisory committee.
LeMoyne Johnson, owner of Johnson PhotoImaging, was honored for his support of MTC’s Digital Design program. Every year for the past five years, he pays a professional photographer to help students train for the photography competition at the annual SkillsUSA Championships and provides his studio for them to have more practice. He serves as the chair of the program advisory committee, provides his expertise to help develop the state curriculum and hires program graduates.
Pierce Manufacturing was also honored. Bill Stolz, Certified Welding Inspector, has been a long-time member of the MTC Welding Technology advisory committee. Stoltz and human resources generalist Linda Peregoff work with the instructors to give students paid work experience while attending MTC and make graduation a condition of full-time employment. Instructor James Heaton said that Pierce has hired more than 10 welding graduates in the past year and has offered them excellent pay and benefits. Pierce also donates materials to MTC for student use.
Air Products plant manager Mark Evans, welding manager George Purvis, and training manger Jennifer Seavey presented the MTC Foundation a check for $3,000 to sponsor welding student participation in the regional, state and national SkillsUSA Championships. MTC has offered company-specific training to Air Products for their new hires since the manufacturer of industrial gas equipment opened in the Bradenton Area in 2014.
Crosthwait Group executive board members Mike Biggins, Harry Blenker and Robert Gause presented a check for $7,500 to MTC to support the Marine Service Technology program. Instructor Kelly Ewing said the money will be used for student scholarships and to help students pay for specialty tools, industry certification test fees and attending SkillsUSA. The Crosthwait Group has donated over $17,000 in cash and equipment to the MTC program since 2012. The group raises the money through an annual fishing tournament.
Each MTC program has an advisory committee. Twice a year, all of the program advisory committees come together for a joint advisory committee meeting before breaking off into their individual meetings. The majority of advisory committee members are local employers. Advisory committee members play an integral role in ensuring MTC fulfills its mission to meet the ever-changing needs of our community and the workforce. About 350 people were in attendance.