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SouthWest, Volkswagen Team Up to Donate Car to HCTC Students

Students and adults standing around a carFuture Volkswagen technicians will now receive hands-on training at the Hollenstein Career and Technology Center after a major donation from an industry partner. 

Representatives from the Volkswagen Group of America and SouthWest Volkswagen in Weatherford handed over the keys to a 2021 Tiguan outside the HCTC automotive center on Friday. 

“I’m really excited about this,” said Kain Elmore, a sophomore from Chisholm Trail High School. “It will give us new exposure to another type of car to work on and learn about.” 

The students aren’t the only ones excited about the donation. So is their teacher, Ernie Cruz. 

“This car will let our students learn on a newer vehicle with an updated, newer engine and newer safety features,” he said. 

That was a goal for Joseph Miller, the service director at SouthWest Volkswagen who first made connections with HCTC at last May’s career fair and spearheaded this Two students under the hood of a cardonation. 

“I thought it would be great exposure for the students to work with a newer model Volkswagen,” Miller said. “A lot of times with import brands you don't get a lot of exposure. So, through this, students can discover if they like the brand, if they like learning on it, and if they do, they can come see me in a few years for a job.” 

Along with the vehicle will come the interface, allowing students to do diagnostics, the same as if they were working at the dealership. 

“I'm excited to work on the electronic aspect of it,” said Gaige Pennington, a junior from Saginaw High School. “I’m just really thankful to have the opportunity to work on a vehicle so new and be exposed to the current technology.” 


Two men hand a set of keys to a woman with a car behind themIn addition to the diagnostics, students will receive hands-on training on other advanced technologies like a turbocharged engine, direct-shift gearbox, and driver-assistance systems. 

The Tiguan will also serve as a valuable resource for students participating in automotive competitions or working on special projects. 

“This is the beginning of a partnership,” said Joe Matussak, the regional fixed operations manager for Volkswagen. “The brand is growing and we're going to have a need for more technicians.” 


While these students are looking towards the future, they're thankful for the opportunities this donation will afford them today. 


'I’m really grateful there are companies like these that want to improve the future for young people,” Elmore said.


We are thankful to the Volkswagen Group of America and SouthWest Volkswagen for being a part of our #EMScommUNITY. HCTC is always interested in partnering with business and industry from around North Texas. If you'd like to play a role in training your future workforce, reach out to Kasey Meuth, the EMS ISD CTE Practicum Specialist at

A group of adults stands around a car