Rick Hendrick has helped kick off construction of Wake Tech’s $41.8 million new automotive training facility with a $1 million gift from Hendrick Automotive Group and by unveiling the name, “Hendrick Center for Automotive Excellence.”
Hendrick, who is also the owner of NASCAR’s Hendrick Motorsports, joined Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls, Gov. Roy Cooper, U.S. Rep. David Price, and Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Jessica Holmes in making the Sept. 27 announcement. In lieu of a traditional groundbreaking, they unveiled a special race car bearing the Hendrick Center for Automotive Excellence name.
“Today is a great celebration!” said Gov. Cooper. “In our state we have a commitment to our citizens from cradle to career, and we’re fortunate to have the best community college system in the country led by Wake Tech.”
The 100,000-sq. ft. structure on the Scott Northern Wake Campus will enable the college to more than double the number of students in its automotive systems technology program (from 90 to 200) and add a new degree program in collision repair. Skilled technicians in both areas are in high demand at local dealerships.
The project is the first of five major expansion projects funded by last fall’s $349 million bond, which passed with 65 percent of the vote.
“This new facility will change the face of technical education,” said Ralls. “Similar to when athletes have a sense of awe stepping into a brand new locker room or running out onto the field of a new stadium – the Hendrick Center for Automotive Excellence will have that ‘wow factor’ that will instill a sense of pride in students who’ve chosen this career path.”