Honda donates engines to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College 

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 5, 2015

Honda has partnered with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to improve the college’s ability to train students in the automotive technology field. Honda recently donated 27 small engines for an upcoming class on small engine repair.

The increased use of motorcycles and recreational vehicles have increased the need for certified mechanics who know how to repair small engines. As motorized equipment becomes more sophisticated, employers prefer to hire mechanics who have been formally trained in the field.

“Training these mechanics is a critical part of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College mission and Honda just made that easier,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of the college.

Small engine mechanics used to be able to enter the occupation fresh out of high school and learn their trade through on-the-job training.

“That’s no longer the case today. Formalized training is an important prerequisite for employment in the automotive field,” said Wade Vernon, chairman of the automotive technology program at the college. “The college provides an invaluable training resource to our community.”

Students having access to equipment, like engines and vehicles, for training purposes is critically needed to make them more marketable and employable.

“The training will not only give students the skills, satisfaction and confidence they need to get the job done right, it will also give them the ability to increase their earning potential,” said Carl Smith, automotive instructor.

“We pride ourselves in working closely with industry to find ways we can better support each other,” said Jan Corriher-Smith, program manager for Rowan-Cabarrus. “This donation is an example of that kind of partnership.”

The 27 small engines represent thousands of dollars in savings to the college.

“One of the college’s biggest challenges is keeping our programs equipped with industry-recognized, state-of-the-art equipment that is used in the workplace. This donation will help us in achieving that goal,” Spalding said.

A small engine repair class will be offered this summer. Every Monday and Tuesday from May 18 to July 27, from 9 a.m. to noon, students can learn about four-stroke and two-stroke engine theory of both hand-held and gasoline-powered small engines.

“Industry-recognized, high-tech equipment is critical to the success of our programs and our graduates,” said Spalding. “If students can’t leave here knowing how to use the equipment that an employer uses, they won’t be as successful.”

Unfortunately, the college’s funding does not include an abundance of resources for equipment investments.

“Our resources from the state have continued to decline year after year,” said Carla Howell, chief officer of foundation, governance and public relations at the college. “Like many public organizations, we are looking at other options and have developed a case for support to seek private and philanthropic donations.”

The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation welcomes in-kind donations, which help the college keep pace with changing technology and equipment needs and meet the demands of increased enrollment.

Gifts in kind must fulfill a stated need of one or more college departments and be approved by the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, visit or call 704-216-7222.