PCC's Partnership with Petty's Garage Offers Students Unique Training Opportunity
WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College is joining forces with a stock car racing legend to train students interested in pursuing careers within the automotive service industry.
According to Susan Nobles, PCC Vice President of Institutional Advancement, the college has signed two-year agreement to become an “education affiliate” of Petty’s Garage, LLC, which is owned by NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Richard Petty.
“The Pettys have long supported Pitt Community College students through generous donations to the PCC Foundation’s annual scholarship auction,” Nobles said. “We’re excited about this new opportunity to broaden our connection with a legendary North Carolina family and feel our students are going to benefit tremendously from the learning experiences our partnership with Petty’s Garage will offer.”
Located in Randleman, Petty’s Garage is Richard Petty’s high-performance speed shop that will take a vehicle to the next level by providing a complete custom solution. The current facility was once the home of the legendary Petty facility that rolled out winning stock cars for more than 60 years.
Though the Pettys have been producing performance vehicles since 1949, Petty’s Garage was established in 2008 to begin restorations on race car chassis from Richard Petty’s private collection. The shop features all of the elements that go into creating a performance automobile, and all of the work is done in-house, including heavy fabrication, roll cages, custom floor pans and custom painting. The company proclaims, “If you can dream it, Petty’s Garage can build it.”
Nobles said the PCC-Petty agreement would involve students from several of the college’s Construction and Industrial Technology (CIT) Division programs. In addition to those enrolled in Automotive Systems Technology, students from the college’s welding and machining programs will also benefit from the partnership as will Business Division students studying marketing and retailing, she said.
Nobles noted that in 2011, Brian Moffitt, a 1994 graduate of PCC’s Marketing and Retailing and Business Administration curriculums, was named chief executive officer of Richard Petty Motorsports, which fields a pair of teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
In addition to annual student and instructor tours of the Petty’s Garage facility, the company’s partnership with PCC provides for job-shadowing opportunities for a select group of students each year. Those chosen to participate will observe Petty’s Garage employees for a week to see firsthand how the shop operates.
Norman Lilley, PCC Automotive Systems Technology Department chair, said his program is continually seeking ways to enhance instruction for students.
“We want to form partnerships with companies like Petty’s Garage that will lead to unique educational opportunities for our students,” he said. “I’m excited about our relationship with the Pettys and feel it has the potential to help our students develop skills they wouldn’t have a chance to learn any other way.”
Per its partnership with the college, Petty has agreed to accept applications from PCC students for job opportunities that become available during the term of the agreement. The company will also present $7,500 in scholarships to PCC students in each of the next two years.
To help the college with recruiting new CIT students, Petty’s Garage will allow PCC to use its logo on the college’s official website and will set up its hauler and car display on campus once a year.
The hauler is scheduled to make its first appearance at PCC next month, when the CIT Division holds an open house event Oct. 19-20. The display, which will feature several cars and Petty employees on hand to speak with visitors, will be set up in front of PCC’s new CIT Building on Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.