Fortunately, this car crash created an opportunity for 26 Auto Body and Collison Technology students at South Central College. Snell Motors purchased the Pontiac from its owner, and has arranged for SCC to use it as a project car. Snell Motors plans to ultimately sell the restored vehicle and donate the proceeds to SCC’s scholarship program; they also donated the parts necessary to restore the vehicle.
Josh Blickem, a graduate of SCC, is the Collision Center Manager at Snell Motors and is an advocate for future technicians. Blickem was one of the first Snell Motors employees to see the 2007 Pontiac G6 and its potential. “To the current owner, it was time for a new car; however, I saw a project that had many technical components that would make a great class project at SCC,” he said.
In September, Blickem and the Snell Motors leadership team delivered the car to SCC on a trailer. Since then, instructors have been using the vehicle as a training tool. From creating a customer estimate to facilitating parts replacements, the repair work is taking shape.
During the first week of March, the students drove the car into SCC’s paint booth, and with a lot of skill and hard work, gave the car a factory finish.
“Snell Motors has generously provided a unique opportunity for our students today and in the future,” said Jay Winters, SCC Auto Body & Collision Technology Instructor. “We love the fact that this project creates a practical application for current students to test their knowledge and an opportunity for future students to benefit with a legacy scholarship fund being created with its proceeds.”
The goal is to restore the car to factory condition by the end of the semester, when the Snell Collision Center Technicians will give it a complete inspection. It will then be put into Snell Motors’ inventory to be sold, and it will meet up with another SCC Alumnus, Jeff Wondra.
Wondra, a graduate of SCC’s Business program, is now the Sales Manager at Snell. “Our sales team will do our best to find the perfect new owner for this car. They’ll find satisfaction in not only having a quality car, but also knowing that 100% of their purchase price is being donated to SCC as a scholarship fund for future students,” he said.
When Snell Motors donates the sale price to South Central College North Mankato Campus Foundation, along with additional donations from the dealership, an endowed scholarship fund for SCC Automotive students will be established.
Todd Snell, owner of Snell Motors, said, “Building upon our relationship with South Central College, we’ve been fortunate to attract and retain talented employees who are alumni of the school and their different programs. To be able to create teachable moments in the classroom not only benefits the students, but also the profession and our industry as a whole. We look forward to the impact that establishing an endowment will make as we encourage future students to pursue their dreams.”
South Central College North Mankato Campus Foundation provides more than $250,000 in student scholarships each year.
“The Foundation is extremely grateful for the support it receives from regional businesses, like Snell, as well as the many individuals who contribute to the success of our students with their annual contributions,” said Tami Reuter, SCC North Mankato Foundation Executive Director.