RTC celebrates grand opening of automotive technology complex

  • Published Thursday, April 20, 2017

Renton, Wash. - Renton Technical College (RTC) will formally enter the future of automotive education this May 11 at the grand opening and celebration of its brand new 63,550 square foot Automotive Technology Complex.

“This is a major step forward for Renton Technical College and its role in preparing the next generation of skilled auto specialists,” said RTC President Kevin McCarthy. “We are grateful to the state of Washington and to our donors for their investment in quality professional and technical education and in the future of our community.”

The $20 million project involved the rebuilding and renovation of four separate buildings that house RTC’s automotive, auto body and paint instructional programs. Besides more space and top technology, it adds the first set of LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified buildings on the RTC campus, offering energy efficiencies, sound landscaping and environmental protections such as a water-based paint room.

Automotive training has been a part of RTC’s mission since World War II, when the school was founded as a training facility for welders, mechanics and other specialized workers for war production factories. The last major expansion of the automotive facilities took place in 1987, when the K building was added to the Renton Highlands campus.

The new buildings will expand the Ford ASSET (Automotive Student Service Educational Training) program. Renton Technical College is the only one in the state offering this program, where students train to work as professional automotive technicians on Ford products in ASE-certified centers.

“The biggest impact this will have is that it maximizes our teaching space, so that we can have more individualized, hands-on activities for students,” said Brian Thompson, RTC’s Ford ASSET program instructor.

The RTC Foundation will host the grand opening and career fair celebration, offering live music, food, drawings, tours of the facility and a “Wheels of Passion Party.” The event is free to the public, though reservations are required. To register, visit http://www.rtc.edu/automotive-grand-opening.

The grand opening celebration is being sponsored by the O’Brien Auto Group, Conner Homes, and Ford ASSET.

“Without the training and expertise of Renton Technical College, we would have a difficult time finding and training quality technicians in today’s market,” said Michael O’Brien, owner of the O’Brien Auto Group. “The automotive partnership we have with RTC will help us for many years to come.”

For details, or to request a media tour of the facility, please contact:

Roberto Bonaccorso, Director of College Relations and Marketing
(425) 235-2356, rbonaccorso@rtc.edu