Donated Ford Mustang “drop down” a learning tool

Automotive students at the Lapeer County Education and Technology Center received a donation of a 2024 Ford Mustang GT last week. The vehicle will help students learn the mechanics of cutting-edge technology in new vehicles.


ATTICA TWP. — Students at the Lapeer County Education and Technology Center (Ed-Tech)’s Automotive Program were all smiles as a 2024 Ford Mustang GT rolled into the shop last week.

The drop-top will provide students with an opportunity to see first-hand the technological advances in their field.

With many of the students eyeing careers in automotive, there’s a big difference in the mechanics of a car fresh out of the factory and one as old as they are, and the Mustang will offer exposure to the intricacies of modern vehicle repair they’ll encounter in the near future.

That’s the logic behind the car’s presence at Ed-Tech, and it came courtesy of a donation from Ford Motor Company.

Blake Milnes, General Manager of Milnes Ford in Lapeer, facilitated the gift alongside Ford’s Brian Wright, Technical Placement Specialist.

Milnes said Wright reached out to explore ways to support local educational programs, and it wasn’t long before the donation of the Mustang was decided.

It was all a part of Ford’s ACE (Automotive Career Exploration) Program, a dealer-sponsored program intended to raise awareness and increase interest in career opportunities within the automotive industry, ultimately as a service technician at a Ford or Lincoln Dealership.

ACE is a partnership program between Ford Motor Company, Ford/Lincoln dealerships, and secondary and post-secondary educational institutions.

Alongside the Mustang, Milnes also provided a 2014 Ford Focus to the program, and in the fall, a 2024 Ford Escape will follow suit.

“Anything we can do to help the community,” said Milnes.

Ed-Tech Principal Tony Najor shared with students that in his 19 years of experience at the school, he’s “never seen a donation of this magnitude” in any program.

“We’re so fortunate for our partners at Ford Motor Company and Milnes Ford, we can’t say ‘thank you’ enough, it’s truly a wonderful donation,” he said. “This is the power of the Lapeer County community.”

More than 40 students at Ed-Tech will be able to make use of the donation each semester, said Auto Mechanics Instructor Anthony Hoskins.

“And we’ll try to keep it in one piece as long as possible,” he said. “It’ll really help these kids know what they’re getting into (after graduation).”