Lia Auto Group Donates 2010 Hyundai Accent to Automotive Program

May 30, 2018

Representatives from Hudson Valley Community College, Lia Auto Group and the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation standing with the donated vehicle
From left: Bill Reuter, Phil White, MaryAnn Janosik, Michael Lia, Kim Perrella, Drew Matonak, Diane Garab, Jim Fullerton, Michelle Lenkiewicz, Kim Berry, Randy Howarth

Students in Hudson Valley's Automotive Technical Services program have received a gift that will keep on giving: a 2010 Hyundai Accent. The Accent, which was donated by the Lia Auto Group, will help students gain essential hands-on experience working with a newer model car in the college's automotive lab.

Representatives from the Lia Auto Group and the Eastern New York Coalition of Automotive Retailers (ENYCAR) were on campus to celebrate the May 29 donation, alongside Hudson Valley President Drew Matonak and other college officials.

With only 75,000 miles on it, and a 2010 model year, the Accent will be put to great use for students learning to troubleshoot computer programs and other technological components unique to most modern cars.

"We're really happy to be involved with such an important program and institution," said Lia Auto Group President Michael Lia. "This kind of partnership is really important. Hudson Valley has helped us in the past, and will continue to help us in the future, to develop our staff and support our local dealerships. I'm glad to be able to participate by donating one of our vehicles. I think it's the least we can do."

Lia Auto Group's Fixed Operations Manager Jim Fullerton echoed that sentiment. "It's great to be able to support the college and the local community," said Fullerton. "There is a real need in the industry for qualified technicians who understand the new technology, and we're fortunate to be able to donate a newer car that will help train students to do that."

The donation was made possible in part through the college's Foundation, along with Automotive Technical Services Assistant Professor Randy Howarth, who regularly makes the effort to reach out to local auto dealerships in hopes of securing vehicle donations for the program.

"I would like to thank the Lia Auto Group, especially Michael Lia, for their generous donation to our program" said Howarth. "This vehicle will be a great help in training our students, and so many will get to use it as a hands-on learning tool. We are so appreciative of their generosity."

ENYCAR, a longtime supporter of Hudson Valley, helped facilitate the donation as well. In the past, ENYCAR has donated funds to help the college purchase equipment for the automotive lab and helped with other vehicle donations to the program.

"This is a perfect example of synergy between local automotive dealers and local colleges," said ENYCAR Vice President Kim Perrella. "They both need each other, and this is a wonderful way to help students get training and help the industry fill jobs."

Perrella said that ENYCAR remains committed to helping the department get the equipment and vehicles it needs, as well as helping connect students and industry professionals in any way possible.

Hudson Valley offers three programs in the automotive field: an Automotive Management A.A.S., Automotive Technical Services A.O.S., and Automotive Technical Services-Autobody Repair A.O.S. The programs serve nearly 200 students each year.

Dealerships or individuals who are interested in discussing the donation of newer vehicles to the college's Automotive Technical Services program may contact Assistant Professor Randy Howarth at r.howarth@hvcc.edu or contact the college's Foundation.

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Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 85 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences, and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of nearly 11,500 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 80,000 alumni.