BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – May 27, 2015 – Today, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of the On Track motorsports education initiative, in partnership with the Warren County Area Technology Center, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College and Holley Performance Products.
The Chamber, in partnership with the Bowling Green Economic Development Authority, will purchase two second-generation Chevrolet Camaros from Holley to donate to SKYCTC and Warren County ATC. The schools will completely rebuild the cars, using multiple educational disciplines, including science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
This initiative is a crucial piece of the Chamber’s commitment to the development of talent for the future workforce of South Central Kentucky. According to the 2013 Urgent Call to Action study, South Central Kentucky will have 4,500 job openings in 2016 in manufacturing alone, and that number doubles to 9,000 by 2020. The On Track initiative introduces critical STEM concepts in a practical setting that will help develop a highly skilled talent pipeline to continue to fuel the already strong South Central Kentucky economy.
“We are always excited when opportunities arise to create more educational access for individuals in the community and to highlight our achievements on a national level,” said Chris Cumens, vice president of finance and administration at SKYCTC. “The On Track initiative accomplishes both. We have a unique opportunity to help promote the growing demand for careers related to STEM fields while helping others understand the incredible automotive performance infrastructure that Bowling Green supports. It’s easy to envision this growing into a very impactful program for our community and becoming a national model much like ‘The Leader in Me.’”
“This is an outstanding opportunity for students in the automotive and manufacturing career pathways to be introduced to the real life application of academic standards in the STEM field,” said Eric Keeling, Warren County ATC principal. “This partnership has created unimaginable opportunities for our students. The initiative incorporates the tenants of a high quality education and sets the bar for STEM and CTE programs in Kentucky while challenging programs on the national level.”
Western Kentucky University will serve as a strategic partner in the On Track initiative, offering support from the Ogden College of Science and Engineering, Gordon Ford College of Business and Center for Gifted Studies.
“WKU is delighted to join with our local Chamber in this key strategic partnership to advance the STEM-related educational opportunities for our area students,” said Dave Tatman, associate vice president for advanced manufacturing at the WKU Center for Research and Development. “This is yet another terrific opportunity for our regional community to work together to meet the intellectual talent needs of our area businesses both now and in the future.”
The On Track initiative is set to be a revolutionary project, involving the entire community. Throughout the 2015-16 school year, students will completely overhaul the cars, determining and utilizing the most efficient and cost-effective means. During this process, industry experts will work closely with students and faculty to aid in the development of the car as well as the curriculum. Additionally, students, parents and the public will be engaged through social media and physical appearances.
“Bowling Green is an epicenter for the motorsports industry,” said Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “It’s only natural that our educational institutes utilize this asset for effective learning. I’m excited to see this partnership grow and impact students across the region.”
“Students from both Warren County ATC and SKYCTC will benefit greatly from the On Track education initiative,” said Mike Buchanon, Warren County Judge-Executive. “Our region boasts strong ties to the motorsports and automotive industries, proving a natural fit for the two.”
For those businesses and individuals who wish to receive more information, or be involved in the On Track initiative, contact Kim Phelps at the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce by calling 270-901-4611 or emailing email@example.com.
About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce:
Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,200 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region. Learn more about South Central Kentucky’s advantages at http://www.southcentralky.com/.
Communications & Public Policy Director