Technical Education Post

News and Information for Technical Educators

Dunning Foundation Grants to Automotive Tech Programs

Fordson High School in  Dearborn and Mecosta-Osceola Career Center have received a grant from the Margaret Dunning Foundation to help automotive tech students.

The $28,688.77 grant will help purchase a new four-wheel alignment machine so that the students can learn on current equipment. The new machine will replace a 25-year-old machine with a state-of-the-art Hunter HawkEye Elite Alignment System.

Fordson’s auto tech program follows national standards and is an ASE Education Foundation recognized and certified program.

The new alignment machine will be used in the school’s Maintenance and Light Repair Program consisting of Auto 1 through Auto 6 and is expected to be particularly useful in the Auto 5 class on brakes and suspensions.

“We are purchasing it so students can gain real hands-on experience in performing pre-alignment inspections, measuring ride height and performing precision four-wheel alignments on today’s sophisticated vehicles,” Mark Kent, the lead automotive technology instructor, said. “Additionally, the Hunter Hawkeye Elite machine will allow us to calibrate today’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) as well as resetting steering angle sensors. Most of the repair procedures that we are required by the ASE Education Foundation to teach to maintain our certification will require an alignment and steering angle sensor reset after they are performed. Without this machine, a vehicle would need to be towed out of our shop to an alignment shop before it could safely be driven.”

The Mecosta-Osceola Career Center recently purchased a new Hunter Equipment TC39ss center clamp tire machine and a new Hunter Equipment Road Force Elite RFE02 tire balancer.

In 2021, the automotive technology program received a $30,000 grant from the Margaret Dunning Foundation to purchase new tire equipment. The new equipment provided by the grant will be utilized to train Career Center students on the latest types of tire mounting and balancing technology, according to a news release.

Todd Ballard, automotive technology lead instructor at the career center, said the grant will allow the center to help students increase their skill sets.

“Our hope is that graduates will learn real-world skills on the same tire equipment local dealerships and independent shops are utilizing,” Ballard said in the release. “Tire tech careers are in great demand and will offer an opportunity for students to be hired for entry-level auto industrial positions.”

Ballard said the new equipment is state-of-the-art technology.

“This equipment will give students excellent training in modern low profile and run-flat tire service as well as road force balancing required by many new vehicle manufacturers,” Ballard said. “The Hunter Road Force balancers and their TC39 rim clamp tire changers are game-changers. This will dramatically help prepare students for the workplace. This type of equipment is used by car manufacturers, car dealerships and most independent shops. Students increase their employability skills through their experience and training on the newly purchased equipment.”

The Margaret Dunning Foundation was founded in 1997. Dunning was born in 1910 in Redford Township and moved with her mother to Plymouth in the 1920s. Dunning went on to be a successful businesswoman, philanthropist, and civic booster.

Dunning was a classic car enthusiast and a regular participant in the Woodward Dream Cruise with her 1930 Packard 740 Roadster and she died at the age of 104 in 2015. Her estate provided additional funding for the foundation to continue to support her interests and legacy.

Margaret Dunning, a businesswoman and philanthropist from Plymouth, established the Dunning Foundation in 1997 in part to support Automotive education programs primarily in Wayne County and Southeastern Michigan. She loved classic cars and won the Classic Car Club of America trophy at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with her 1930 Packard Roadster, the news release states.

2021 GRANTS from Dunning Foundation

The Arc of NW Wayne County Office technology upgrades$16,000

Farmington Public Schools Torque certification program at North Farmington High School$32,000

Growth Works Façade renovations at Plymouth location$26,000

Kettering University Equipment to study autonomous vehicles$60,000

Redford Interfaith Relief New roof installation$75,000

Plymouth PARC Replace pool HVAC system$200,000

Allen Park Public Schools Wheel alignment machine at Allen Park High School$29,000

College for Creative Studies Advanced summer school program in auto design$320,000

Educational Excellence Foundation Welding equipment at Plymouth-Canton Advanced Automotive Training Center$57,000

Livonia Public Schools Auto equipment upgrades at the Livonia Career Technical Center$12,000

Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District Tire changing and balancing equipment at the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center$30,000

New Haven Community Schools Automotive hoist at New Haven High School$35,000

Oakland Community College Equipment and professional development in the Automobile Servicing Program$29,000

Starfish Family Services Building renovations at Inkster headquarters$60,000

The Henry Ford Panel discussion on automobile collecting at Old Car Festival$5,500

American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan Substance use and mental health programs for indigenous youth$50,000

New Hope Center for Grief Support Expanding its early grief programming$25,000

Vista Maria A reading program for girls recovering from trauma and abuse$11,000

Dearborn Public Schools An alignment machine for the automotive program at Fordson High School$28,000

Living and Learning Enrichment Center Kitchen renovations at its Northville campus$70,000

Oakwood Healthcare Facility improvements at three child health clinics serving underserved communities$50,000

Salvation Army, Eastern Michigan Division A walk-in freezer for the food pantry at its Plymouth$25,000

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upcoming Events