The program received a $50,000 Dallas Makeover Grant, which is part of the initiative and awarded by the Collision Repair Education Foundation.
"We saw the instructors' commitment to the students," said Stacy Bartnik, chairman of the Collision Repair Education Foundation. "They want to make sure the students were entry-level ready and have a passion for the industry."
Faculty members bought paint guns, sockets, red storage carts, paintless dent repair tools, bumper stands, an induction heater and other items.
"Obviously we have the right stuff to train a student to be a technician going into the auto repair field," said Kevon Kleibrink, a program instructor. "Without the support of industry partners saying good things about our students and actually hiring our students, we would not exist."
Students have begun working with four Pro Spot welding machines purchased through the grant that can do four different types of welding: TIG, MIG, stick and aluminum.
Geoffrey Whitlock, 25, an Auto Collision and Management Technology Refinishing Specialization major from Waco, said that having the new machines will broaden his and other students' range of knowledge.
"It's helped out a lot," the La Vega High School graduate said. "Before, we had just one aluminum welder. Now, we have several welding machines, including the old one. Learning with these will help when we get out in the industry. We will be better prepared for that."
David Noyola, 20, of Killeen is working toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in Auto Collision and Management Technology Repair Specialization. He said it took a few days to learn how the welding machines function.
"I've always been into cars, more of the body side, making it look good and fixing it back to its normal shape," said Noyola, a 2014 Shoemaker High School graduate.
For more information about the Auto Collision and Management Technology program, visit www.tstc.edu.