• HED: Dwayne Lane’s Auto Family promotes local automotive industry through donations to Skagit Valley

    January 17, 2023

    (Mount Vernon, Wash.) –– Dwayne Lane’s Auto Family, a locally owned automobile dealership with five locations in Everett, Arlington, and Burlington, has donated $6,000 to sponsor four tool carts in support of Skagit Valley College’s automotive technology program.  

     

    The dealership’s generosity and dedication to the local automotive industry will ensure that students in the SVC program have access to the resources they need to learn the basics of auto technology. In addition, Dwayne Lane’s is donating two automobiles for students to practice their newly acquired skills.  

     

    “This is the largest number of tool carts that has yet been donated to our program,” said Aaron Klesick, instructor and department head of the SVC automotive technology program. “Quality tools in our industry can cost thousands of dollars, and we have long wanted our first-year students to have access to them by the time they begin their second quarter in our two-year program. Thanks to companies such as Dwayne Lane’s, we’ve removed a potential obstacle in their path.” 

     

    Dwayne Lane’s contribution reflects the philosophy and business ethics of its late founder.  

     

    “Dwayne Lane started in the auto business 1954 at the age of 16, working for an Everett dealership as a lot attendant,” said company spokesperson Sheila Countryman-Bean. “He worked his way up and eventually owned the dealership and expanded through the years. Dwayne always believed in giving back to the communities that supported us all these years. We are proud to sponsor local sports teams, youth programs, and other community projects through monetary support, time, and the talents of our employees.” 

     

    Dwayne Lane’s partnership with SVC benefits not only the school’s automotive technology program, but also helps the local automotive industry by ensuring that there is a pipeline for skilled auto mechanics, particularly in the midst of a transition in automotive technology as vehicles go from gas to electric power.  

     

    “The industry is in desperate need of technicians,” said Klesick. “There is a shortage as more people are retiring, so we want to remove barriers so that everyone who wants to learn how to work with cars gets an opportunity.” 

     

    In addition to its donation of tool carts and cars, Dwayne Lane’s has utilized its dealership network to recruit factory representatives who can provide in-depth education to automotive technology students on specific products.  

     

    The dealership has also set up factory training at SVC. In return, the company has benefited from program participants who have joined its automotive service organization, including some who do so on a part-time basis as they continue their education.  

     

    “Our founder attended a community college, so it’s only natural for us to support education — especially automotive programs,” said Countryman-Bean. “If we can help students with their training, they may also be interested in a position with the dealership. We can provide that opportunity as well.” 

     

    Aaron Klesick credits businesses like Dwayne Lane’s with making college more affordable, and with improving the industry.

     

    “Local businesses get something out of it as well by getting better technicians while helping out students at the same time,” said Klesick. “It’s a win-win for everybody.” 

     

    To learn more about the Dwayne Lane’s Auto Family donation, contact Brad Tuininga at the SVC Foundation, at brad.tuininga@skagit.edu. 

     

    To learn more about SVC’s automotive technology program, visit skagit.edu/automotive-technology. 

     

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    Skagit Valley College is making a difference throughout Skagit, Island, and San Juan counties by providing access to higher education for all who seek a better future. Part of what makes our college special is that we are deeply committed to equity in access, achievement, and community. Whether you are training for a new job, beginning your college experience, finishing the degree you started, adding English language skills, or pursuing a high school credential, Skagit Valley College welcomes you.