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Delaware Tech gets federal grant to build auto tech training facility

Sarah Mueller
From left to right: Sen. Tom Carper, Owens Campus Vice President Bobbi Barendi, DelTech President Mark Brainard and Linda Cruz-Carnall, regional director of the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Delaware Tech plans to use a federal grant to help fill a shortage of automotive technicians in the Delmarva region. Del Tech got $1.97 million to build a 13,500 square foot automotive training facility on its Georgetown campus.

Terry Megee, president of Floyd A. Megee Motor Company, said technicians are needed desperately in Delaware.

“We need 150 technicians like this," he said. "We could give them jobs right now and this is an opportunity. This is going to be a model that the country’s going to look at. It’s starting right here in Georgetown, Delaware.”

Del Tech President Mark Brainard said it will allow the school to train 40 auto technicians annually - double its current capacity. It will also be able to train up to 15 diesel mechanics each year.

Brainard said Del Tech applied for the federal grant because it was unable to get enough state capital funding.

“The reason why we pursued an EDA grant was that we’re getting sufficient capital funding just for deferred maintenance," he said. "This is a brand new project so this was totally offline and that’s why the campus pursued the grant.”

Del Tech, Delaware State University and the University of Delaware each got $10 million in infrastructure dollars in the 2019 state budget.

Brainard says the grant will cover 65 percent of facility’s $3 million price tag. The college has raised the other 35 percent from the state, Sussex County, local auto dealers, and others.

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