EXETER — A brand new Volvo s60 will give the automotive program students at the Seacoast School of Technology (SST) a leg-up when entering the workforce.
The Volvo Car University Vehicle Lease Program for Schools (VLPS) makes a select number of pre-production vehicles available to schools for free, and provides training and equipment to instructors to guide their students as they learn how to service the cars.
“The kids are very, very excited to start working on this vehicle,” said SST instructor Matt Lobdell. “They’re doing stuff that I didn’t even begin to do until college. By having this vehicle here, we are able to simulate real world failures and repairs.”
In addition to the vehicle, SST will receive a license for Vehicle Information and Diagnostics for Aftersales (VIDA) software to assist students while they work on the car. Volvo also provided online and in-person training for Lobdell.
Working on the s60 will give students a rare chance to work on a newer model vehicle, developing their understanding of the technologies on modern cars and build on the skills they’ve developed working on the older models usually donated to the program.
“We have the latest and greatest in technology in this vehicle, from the engine systems to the sensors to the computer modular to customer entertainment software,” Lobdell said.
This diversity and specialization is what will set students apart when they enter the workforce.
“When I asked the students if they wanted to do this for a career, 90 percent of them raised their hand,” Lobdell said. “This is an amazing opportunity for this program and for the school.”
The SST students are the only high school students in the country to take part in this program and will have the car to work on over the next three years.
“This vehicle opens up new pathways for kids,” said SST Principal Sharon Wilson. “They’re going to have more sophisticated skills and be more competitive in the job market.”
Volvo of North America donated a brand new, pre-production s60 vehicle to SST as part of a broader program that makes vehicles available to schools for educational purposes. The donation was made possible by Volvo of Exeter Owner Dan Enxing. Volvo of Exeter is also providing the technology and tools for students to work on the car.
The car was donated to the program in December. Students are expected to begin working on it in the next couple of weeks.