Steve & Sharon Huling will be honored at site of SSCC's Huling automotive technology training center
South Seattle Community College recognized the Huling family of West Seattle in June of 2010 for their more than 30 years of support by naming an expanded and remodeled automotive technology training facility in their honor. The new center and its equipment mean that students work with tools that closely match current industry standards.
On Tuesday November 29 at 11 am the Hulings will be honored in a ceremony, to unveil the new sign that officially designates the future Steve and Sharon Huling Automotive Center. No information on when the construction of the actual facility will begin was provided.
“We deeply appreciate the Hulings for their generous, long-time support of the college,” said Jill Wakefield, chancellor of the Seattle Community Colleges and former South president. “Their on-going partnership with the college has resulted in nearly $2 million in equipment, funds, and other support, which has advanced and improved the training opportunities for our automotive students.”
According to SSCC President Gary Oertli, the remodeled automotive center will feature shop bays to accommodate 27 vehicles, compared to the current 18, and eight classrooms, five of which will be adjacent to shops. This equates to a 24% increase in space to 45,590 square feet, allowing the college to serve an additional 80 students. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2016.
The Huling family has donated more than $200,000 worth of vehicles and equipment for automotive training, said Elizabeth Pluhta, executive director of Advancement and Foundation. Steve Huling also encouraged employees from his former auto dealerships to serve as short-term instructors at the college, she noted, helping students learn about the real working world.
A sponsor in the General Motors Marketing Internship program, Huling also provided student internships at his dealerships that in the past led to full-time employment.
The Huling Bros. Auto Center was honored with the Better Business Bureau Customer Service award in 2001, a recognition that SSCC was pleased to support, Pluhta said. The Auto Center also earned the national Automobile Education Award from Northwood University in 2003, and was selected as Washington state’s 2004 TIME Magazine Quality Dealer.
Steve Huling served on the board of directors of SSCC's foundation from 1991 to 1996, and is a current member of the college’s President’s Advisory Council. He and his brother Tom were named SSCC's Benefactor of the Year in 1987. The annual golf tournament they launched in partnership with Thrifty Car Rental raised nearly $500,000 for the college foundation until 2007, when they sold their automotive businesses.
Sharon Huling is also active in community support. She served as capital campaign chair for West Seattle’s Holy Rosary Church in 2005-07, and has been a board member of the Southwest Historical Society and the Log House Museum. In the wider community she has held leadership roles with the Seattle Art Museum, Lakeside School and On The Boards.
PROGRAM FOR THE EVENT
11:05 a.m. – Gather in front of automotive building
11:10 a.m. – Gary Oertli opening remarks
11:15 a.m. – Auto Program remarks
11:20 a.m. – Foundation remarks
11:25 a.m. – Steve and/or Sharon Huling speak
11:30 a.m. – Hulings and Gary Oertli unveil sign
11:32 a.m. – Hulings crack champagne over sign
11:35 a.m. – Champagne toast for crowd