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HCC graduate helps customers at local business

WELDON, N.C. – Halifax Community College (HCC) graduate Laura Jenkins Padgett has been all about cars for a while now. In 2007, as a first-year Automotive Systems Technology student, Padgett was the only female in the program. Now, she is a graduate of HCC, earning an Associate in Applied Science—Automotive Systems Technology degree in December 2009. She received her GED from HCC in April 2007.
Recently, Padgett was selected from a field of 60 applicants as a service advisor at local car dealership, White Motors. She has been on the job for a few weeks now and is enjoying the experience. In addition to graduating and getting a job, Padgett got married this year. Her husband, Leland, serves in the U.S. Navy. The couple resides in Roanoke Rapids.

Although she has been on the job for a short time, Padgett likes interacting with people who come into the service department. She deals with customers on a daily basis and tries to help them better understand their vehicles’ problems. “HCC training helps me with that process,” said Padgett.


She added, “I was very shy before starting college. I think being at HCC with all kinds of people, I got used to it and now I’m able to communicate with different types of people. It added to my confidence level.” Padgett can be reached at 537-6138 for service information.


“We feel fortunate to have Laura Jenkins Padgett on our service team. Laura brings a ‘can do’ attitude with her, along with a bright and cheerful greeting to all of our service customers. Laura’s schooling and training at HCC will be applied and tested in her job position here at White Motors,” said General Manager Fred Rice. “With more than 40 vehicles being written up daily, there is a lot to keep track of in her position as service advisor. I am confident that with the additional guidance of our Service Director Mike Carlson, Mrs. Padgett will develop into as fine a service advisor as we could want.”


“As a local employer, White Motors totally supports and encourages the HCC Automotive programs. I personally feel that more young folks today should look at careers in the automotive industry. There is a desperate need for qualified service advisors, technicians and parts department personnel. The rewards are many and employment is steady and looks to continue to grow well into the foreseeable future,” added Rice.


HCC offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Automotive Systems Technology for anyone who is serious about the automotive industry and wants to be in a position to move into management or higher-level education. Degree students learn manual and automatic transmissions, automotive servicing, auto shop management, and interpersonal psychology. All courses are geared toward helping individuals achieve success in the automotive industry. HCC also offers a diploma as well as automotive systems basic, advanced automotive and electricity and engine performance certificates.

For more information about the associate’s degree, diploma or certificate programs available in Automotive Systems Technology, contact Hunter Taylor at (252) 536-7228 or via e-mail at taylorh@halifaxcc.edu, or review program details at www.halifaxcc.edu.   


 Laura Padgett


Photo: HCC Automotive Systems Technology graduate Laura Jenkins Padgett