The network of new car dealers connected with Shoreline Community College just got bigger.
“We’re excited about the opportunities that will come with the merger of Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association and the Washington State Auto Dealers Association (WSADA),” said Shoreline President Cheryl Roberts. “The dealer associations are coming together with one voice for this critically important industry in our state. We look forward to working closely with WSADA and its members.”
The merger took effect Tuesday, Feb. 17. The Puget Sound dealers (PSADA) had been co-located with the Professional Automotive Training Center – Dealer Training Academy on Shoreline’s campus. The statewide association (WSADA) has offices in Renton. The merged association will continue to use WSADA’s name and offices. Roberts said the college is looking at options for the office space formerly occupied by PSADA.
During a Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 meeting at Shoreline, WSADA Executive Director Vicki Giles Fabré said she, too, is looking forward to a closer relationship. “We’re hopeful that, through our partnership, Shoreline and its automotive training program will have an even greater impact for Shoreline students and dealers statewide,” Fabré said.
Roberts, Fabré and others from the college and WSADA toured the Shoreline facility as part of the meeting. Also attending the meeting were Pam Nelson, of Foothills Toyota in Burlington and a key figure in PSADA and its foundation, and Gary Gilchrist of Gilchrist Auto Center in Tacoma.
Gilchrist, who is WSADA president, and former PSADA Chairman Steve Klein of Klein Honda, in Everett, worked with Fabré and others on details the merger.
Shoreline began working with PSADA in 1980, offering its first class at night in the service department at Chuck Olson Chevrolet, in Shoreline. With significant support from dealers, the Professional Automotive Training Center opened in 1992 and was expanded in 2010. The facility hosts manufacturer-based programs Toyota, Honda, GM and Chrysler dealers. The program also offers an entry-level General Service Technician program. More than 1,300 technicians have been trained and moved on to family-wage jobs since the center opened.
For more than 95 years, WSADA has represented franchised new car and truck dealers across Washington as well as the Puget Sound area dealers who made up PSADA’s membership.
Fabré has led the Washington State Auto Dealers Association since 1999 and will serve as Executive Vice President for the newly merged organization. She will also oversee management of the Seattle International Auto Show which was previously a responsibility of the regional association.
“Shoreline is an internationally recognized model for offering a wide variety of manufacturer-specific technician training programs that integrate education with hands-on workplace experience,” Fabré said. “WSADA looks forward to continued involvement and a strong partnership with Shoreline and the Professional Automotive Training Center – Dealer Training Academy.”
At the meeting, Fabré announced that WSADA will present an Ambassadors grant from the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation to Shoreline Community College. The Ambassadorship, which was established in PSADA’s name, now transfers to WSADA. To honor the long history of support from Puget Sound area dealers to the college, the WSADA Board of Directors has decided to present the first grant to Shoreline Community College.