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South Dakota to give automotive students $519K in free tools

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The South Dakota Board of Education on Thursday approved more than $519,000 in free tool kits for automotive students at Southeast Technical Institute, the Argus Leader reported.

The tools, organizers, and toolboxes can cost as much as $5,000, the newspaper said. The state subsidy will cover 56 students, it said.

The automotive programs, which include an auto-body track, are growing in popularity at the Sioux Falls , S.D., college, according to the Leader. The institute plans to add a new, 91,000-square foot auto center, which would allow the auto body, auto tech, and diesel tracks to double in enrollment, the newspaper said.

This kind of move is worth debating by the collision repair industry. Should your tax dollars be reserved for other purposes instead of paying for a student’s gear?  Or is it worth it to ensure body shops get new blood and to allow your business to grow? Would a better option be to have local shops pool their money (and get the tax write-off) to help with future technicians’ education?

More information:

“State to pay for tools in STI auto tech classes”

Argus Leader, Jan. 15, 2015