Sewell Donates Property to O.C. 5/17/13
CBS 7 News
May 17, 2013
Collin Sewell looks out in the huge area dedicated to car maintenance are repair at the his dealership on east 8th street in Odessa. With a car in every service bay and almost 60 technicians working non-stop, they still struggle to keep up with the demand from customers.
Collin Sewell says, “I could hire 50 more technicians in our company alone. I could put them to work today and we would just get even with the volume of work we’ve been blessed with.”
A shortage of workers and no place to train the next generation.
“That’s when the idea really came about. How do we create our own campus for not just technicians for our dealership, but for all dealerships in West Texas and New Mexico? How do we create opportunities for technicians who need to go out in the oil filed because tons of service companies do their own maintenance? The city. The County. They all do the work themselves,” says Sewell.
The solution? A state-of-the-art training facility designed specifically for auto technicians and mechanics. It will be the premier campus in the country.
“We’re going to ‘gift’ the campus, the service facility, parts facility all to O.C. so they can create Sewell Auto Tech. It really is an opportunity for students in this area to master their trade, earn a great living and make a career out of serving other people.”
Dr. Greg Williams, president of Odessa College adds, “This is night and day for OC and auto tech. It is wonderful. It is outstanding. It’s amazing. I can’t say enough about how beneficial it will be for students and the community. “
When Sewell moves his car companies to the new Parks Legado development in 2015, he is handing over the ownership of this vast property to O.C. It’s a gift totaling $3 million dollars.
Collin Sewell says, “Anything that’s here will go to OC. So a lift is $15,000 to install. They’ll literally receive a fully functioning service department. Really the idea is for students to come in here, much like a doctor, and do a residency. So classroom work in what’s now the showroom and sales area. And you come out here and this will be the residency.”
O.C. will offer a two year Associate’s Degree.
Williams says, “These individuals are smart. They’re quick. And they love to use their hands and their brains both. This is a great opportunity for them.”
According to Sewell, “There will really be three areas we focus on: auto repair, auto body and paint, and parts procurement and inventory management and logistics.”
These students will be workforce ready in a high demand career.
Dr. Williams says, “These individuals will be able to make $50,000, $80,000 even $100,000 depending on how much they want to work.”
It’s a shining example of how effective it can be to merge business and education for the benefit of all west Texans.
Sewell says, “So people said, ‘What are you going to do? You’ve been a staple on 8th street for so long’ and what I couldn’t say then, but what I can say now is that O.C. becomes the staple of 8th street. So what better gift then to say O.C. will take your place and build the next generation of technicians for this community and around the country?”
O.C. will do improvements and renovations once the Sewell dealerships relocate. They hope to have the program up and running by fall of 2015.