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This week the students of VU’s Automotive Technology program received a boost from a pair of brothers. Nick and Phil Abbett, who are president and vice president of Ruxer Ford Lincoln in Jasper, made a large contribution to the program by providing two new tool box sets. With one set designated for students majoring in Automotive Technology and the other for Collision Repair Technology majors. Also part of the donation were two vehicle doors, additional parts for training and a financial contribution for student book purchases and other materials to pursue their majors.

Coordinator of the Automotive/Collision Repair program, Ty Freed, noted that thanks to the generous donation the program will have credits issued to the bookstore allowing students books at no cost for one school year. He also added that each Snap-On toolbox and tools donated were valued at $15,000 dollars each. “This will help a lot of students,” Freed said.

“I owe a lot to the VU Automotive program,” said Phil Abbett. “It is nice that to be in a position now that we can bring this full circle and try to give the program a boost, because it has given me a lot. It has contributed to my successes and those of a lot of other people, too.”

Ruxer Ford Lincoln in Jasper has worked with VU for a numbers of years with the goal being to attract more students to consider automotive trades as a career choice, along with helping students who might not pursue the major because of the cost of tools.

For graduates of these programs, jobs are plentiful and offer salaries ranging from $50,000 to $60,000 a year, according to Abbett.

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