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Old 12-15-2004, 06:28 PM
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Future MB Mechanics In Brooklyn High School

BROOKLYN, N.Y., Dec. 14
Automotive High School is dedicating a new laboratory today, a classroom and workshop where tomorrow's automotive technicians will receive specialized training to prepare them for the increasingly-complex work on modern, high-tech cars. Located at 50 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, Automotive High School is one of the only schools in the U.S. that offers a comprehensive automotive curriculum at the high school level. Made possible by support and resources from Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), the renovated automotive lab integrates a fully-equipped professional workshop and classroom, designed to help meet the growing demand for skilled automotive technicians.

Automotive High School students and Tom Cassino, lab instructor, will host an open house from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. today to feature demonstrations of their technical knowledge using several project cars. MBUSA training instructors will also be on hand to show the latest automotive technology on vehicles like the new SLK roadster.

The Mercedes-Benz lab was designed to help meet an industry need to develop skilled automotive technicians. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that, by next year, there will be a severe nationwide shortage of 100,000 trained automotive technicians -- a result of growth within the auto industry, the increased complexity of modern cars and misconceptions among young people about an automotive career. The Mercedes-Benz lab helps expose students to high-technology vehicles earlier in their training and aims to generate interest in further education.

One of the most intriguing and timely projects that Automotive High School students will be involved in involves a diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz sedan donated by a local resident. Beginning with a vehicle that gets at least 30 percent better fuel mileage than a comparable gas-powered car, the students will convert its diesel fuel system to run on vegetable-based cooking oil. This non-petroleum, biologically renewable fuel also results in dramatically reduced exhaust emissions. The students will be working on the diesel project beginning in January 2004.

Automotive High School students pursue an academically rigorous program with majors in auto mechanics, auto body and information technology. The highly specialized school also boasts "Master NATEF Certification" in all eight ASE service areas of the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and also offers college-credit courses through a partnership with the Bronx Community College.

MBUSA's commitment to automotive training extends beyond Automotive High School. MBUSA's ELITE Technician Training Program, a comprehensive career initiative established for entry-level technicians, is a 16-week intensive training initiative specific to Mercedes-Benz, and recruits students from various automotive high school and college programs around the country. MBUSA trains over 400 skilled Mercedes-Benz technicians annually, where tuition is paid in full by MBUSA authorized dealers.

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