ORANGEBURG – More than 100 business and industry leaders, elected officials, students, faculty and administrators were on hand for the Grand Opening of Rockland Community College’s Herbert Kurz Automotive Technology Center on May 3 in Orangeburg, NY.
The NC3 National Leadership Member 27,304 square foot state-of-the-art Herbert Kurz Automotive Technology Center includes five classrooms, a Snap-On certified lab with 10 lifts, a well-appointed conference room (with original Alan Levine paintings), and lounge area named in memorial for Anthony Amoros. All RCC Automotive Technology instructors are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and have extensive industry experience and training. This new facility received generous funding from the Kurz Family Foundation.
Dr. Cliff L. Wood, president of RCC, introduced the Center saying, “RCC’s automotive program offers accessible professional technical education to ensure our graduates can successfully fulfill their career goals as well as the needs for trained professional technicians in the industry. Students are prepared to work immediately after attaining this degree or can continue their education for a bachelor’s degree.”
At the event, an agreement between Subaru and the Center was announced by Executive Vice President Barry Wells of Subaru Distributors Corp. Student speakers Mikalya Watkins (1 of the 3 women students in the program) and Xavier Perez as well as the many industry and government officials all spoke enthusiastically about the valuable career opportunities the Center’s training provides. Corey Ratner, RCC’s Department Chair of the Automotive Program, says, “The automotive industry is evolving as a high-tech environment and our students are well-prepared and using state-of-the-art equipment while earning their degrees.”
Kurz, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 94, was the founder of Presidential Life insurance company, headquartered on Broadway and Main in downtown Nyack. Kurz was also a generous philanthropist, a radical labor activist in his early adulthood (according to his own accounts) and a lifelong progressive activist. Despite his early alliances with the far left he eventually became a multimillionaire in the capitalist economy.
Kurz’s spirit was such that he continued to assist in running Presidential Life even into the latter years of his life.