Northland Community & Technical College offering scholarships to all incoming automotive students


Northland Community & Technical College offering scholarships to all incoming automotive students

Drastic shortage of automotive technicians and auto body professionals inspire new scholarship opportunities.

Northland Community & Technical College is pleased to announce a new scholarship opportunity available to all incoming students enrolling in either the automotive service or auto body programs

The Dondelinger Foundation has awarded Northland $4,500 to be split between both programs, and this opportunity will extend into the future to help boost enrollment and train the next generation of much-needed automotive professionals. In addition to the $4,500, two more private donors have donated funds to be used for recruiting students to the auto body program specifically. These funds will be automatically awarded to incoming students with no formal application needed.

Students signing up for either auto program at Northland are also eligible for Workforce Development Scholarships, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. In total, thousands of dollars will be awarded to automotive students, but beyond the affordable tuition, students have even more enticing reasons to consider a career in this industry.

“As long as there are vehicles on the road, there will be a need for technicians to repair or restore them,” explained Kent Wagner, Northland’s Auto Body Collision Technology instructor. “A typical shop is always busy and the industry is in need of technicians. Graduates can be assured of being able to find a job with relative ease almost anywhere they choose to live.”

Northland’s Automotive Service Technician instructor Mark Johnson shared a similarly positive job outlook for his graduates.

“These careers offer Northland grads many potential opportunities in a worldwide marketplace with excellent wages,” Johnson said. “Experienced techs are earning six figures or more.”

Lars Dyrud, Executive Director for the Northland Community & Technical College Foundation, broke down the numbers of all available grants and scholarships and estimated that students enrolled in either auto program will receive about $500 automatically, with additional opportunities to apply for other competitive scholarships. 

According to Wagner, anyone — whether a recent high school graduate or an adult looking for a career change — who enjoys working with their hands and thinking on their feet makes a perfect candidate for the automotive industry. Students look forward to learning the many tips and tricks that can only be taught from experience and thrive on the pride they feel when participating in restoring something to like-new condition from start to finish. 

“At Northland, all of our students take ASE end of program tests,” Johnson explained, “and their scores typically set the standard for the state with many students scoring at or above the 90th percentile nationwide. We offer smaller class sizes and students are not just a number… they become family.”

With such a strong reputation of excellence, shops routinely turn to Northland when looking to hire new technicians. Wagner explained that graduates of these two programs typically receive a job offer prior to graduation. 

“This often begins at a prep role,” Wagner continued, “where they are able to apply what they have learned and are able to be further mentored about the workings of their particular shop’s environment. And some graduates go on to start their own businesses. The opportunities are wide open.”