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Thursday, 03 June 2010 16:21

State-of-the-Art Automotive Management Training Facility Opens at Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA

More than 300 auto industry representatives, community leaders, students, faculty and administrators celebrated the official grand opening of the 10,000 square-foot Automotive Partners Building at Cerritos College on Friday, May 21.

The event, held inside the facility's glass-lined showroom, marked the culmination of years of planning, fundraising and collaboration between the college, public officials and local auto dealers. Cerritos College apportioned community bond funding toward the $5.1-million facility, and major private donors included the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association (SMCDA) and the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association (GLANCDA), who each contributed a half million dollars toward the facility. L. A. County 4th District Supervisor Don Knabe and the Conant Auto Retail Group each provided gifts of $100,000.

The building is the centerpiece of the $15mm auto training center on the Cerritos College campus.  "Area dealers have long drawn talent from Cerritos College's Automotive Technology Program -- now they join the college in offering management training," explained SMCDA Executive Director Todd Leutheuser. "The future of their business starts here, in a deliberate convergence of industry and education."

In addition to the prominent show room that can exhibit vehicles and features a wall of video screens for training purposes, the building also features space for students and managers alike. Traditional classrooms and conference-style board rooms are equipped with video conference capability and wireless capability. A marketing media room seats up to 24 people and includes video and teleconference capability, and several board rooms.

Housed within the building are offices for Northwood University's West Coast program center, which offers a bachelor's degree program in automotive marketing and management for students who want to work in the auto industry. The program hosts its business and auto management courses in the classrooms, while providing walk-in academic guidance and program information directly from the new offices. SMCDA also has its offices inside the building, and area dealers will be able to schedule meetings and employee training at the facility.

Since 1932, the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association (SMCDA) has represented the new franchised automotive dealers in the southern Los Angeles County. Visit the association online at

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