Aug 13, 2015 NASHVILLE, Tenn.

Bridgestone Americas and Firestone Complete Auto Care Open New Automotive Training Center in Cooperation with Metro Nashville Public Schools

As a leader in innovation, this training center reflects our commitment to educating the next generation of automotive and retail professionals, using the latest technology, operational procedures and business practices offered in our Firestone Complete Auto Care tire and automotive service centers.

Gary Garfield, CEO and President

Center is both a classroom workspace and operational automotive service center

Today Metro Nashville Public Schools leadership joined Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Bridgestone Americas CEO and President Gary Garfield to cut the ribbon on the new Maplewood High School Automotive Training Center, the latest public-private collaboration to benefit Nashville education. Maplewood High School’s Automotive Training Center will give students hands-on experience working with top-of-the-line automotive technology and help them learn the business practices necessary to run a retail store. 

“Maplewood High School’s Automotive Training Center is another example of how Maplewood continues to generate positive effects on Nashville and its educational system,” said Garfield. “As a leader in innovation, this training center reflects our commitment to educating the next generation of automotive and retail professionals, using the latest technology, operational procedures and business practices offered in our Firestone Complete Auto Care tire and automotive service centers.”

The training center is the heart of the Automotive Technology pathway in the Maplewood Academy of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. It represents a contribution from Bridgestone Americas, which includes volunteer hours, assistance with making the curriculum ASE-certified (Automotive Service Excellence), retrofitting the customer waiting area and equipment and materials worth more than $300,000. Metro Schools’ construction crews spent the summer building a new customer care center to handle the retail transactions and customer waiting area. The training center, staffed by Maplewood High School students under the guidance of teacher Twjuana “TJ” Williams, will be open to the public for repair services and tire installation. All revenue generated from service and sales will be reinvested into the program.

Through dual enrollment at Nashville State Community College or Volunteer State Community College, students will have the opportunity to earn up to three college credits in maintenance and light repair. They can also take the exam for the ASE professional certification, a key step in starting a career or post-secondary education in automotive technology.

“This is a significant moment in the history of Maplewood High School, and we are grateful for the investment in our students,” said Interim Director of Schools Chris Henson. “Maplewood and the Academies of Nashville are taking another major step in giving students multiple paths to success after graduation.”

Bridgestone’s support of Maplewood was made possible by the PENCIL Foundation, which is the organization charged with connecting businesses and organizations with schools. With PENCIL’s help, the Academies of Nashville have found more than 300 business partners to support academic pathways with materials, volunteers, job shadowing and more.