OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A local community college is partnering with a company to help with the shortage of automotive technicians.

Oklahoma City Community College is partnering with Gulf States Toyota to offer the Toyota Education College Support program to its students.

The program will provide a direct solution to the shortage of qualified technicians in the automotive industry.

“Partnerships like this one are key to our students’ success,” said Dr. Mautra Staley Jones, OCCC President. “OCCC is working to meet the needs of Oklahoma employers, and we’re honored that Gulf States Toyota can help us equip our students to be ready to enter the workforce upon graduation.”

Students in OCCC’s Automotive Internship Program will work on Toyota components and complete specific training modules above and beyond the standard degree program.

“Cars are getting more complicated, there’s no doubt about it,” said Brad Walker, Director of OCCC’s Automotive Technology Department. “Today’s – and certainly tomorrow’s – automotive technicians are so much more than just ‘mechanics,’ they are computer technicians as well.”

Graduates of the program will become Toyota Maintenance-Level Certified Technicians, which gives them a direct line of employment at Toyota dealerships and specialty shops.