NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TN Tribune) Bridgestone Retail Operations (Bridgestone), a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, welcomed this year’s top ten Maplewood High School Automotive Training Center students and their families to the Bridgestone Tower on Thursday, May 5 for an awards ceremony, tour and luncheon to celebrate their achievements as they continue their journey to becoming automotive service professionals. 

The program’s top three students received professional technician toolkits, and one student was offered a position as a part-time employee at a local Firestone Complete Auto Care store. Students who recently completed their ASE certification training were also recognized. 

“Now more than ever, the automotive industry needs skilled professionals to help care for customers and deliver trusted service,” said Marko Ibrahim, President, Bridgestone Retail Operations. “These students represent a bright future for our industry. We are proud to celebrate their successes and look forward to the contributions they will make in the Nashville community and beyond.” 

The awards ceremony featured remarks from Bridgestone leadership, including Gabriel Asbun, Group President, Integrated Businesses, Ibrahim, as well as Maplewood High School Automotive Training Center instructorTwjuana “TJ” Williams. 

“This exciting event represents an impressive milestone for the relationship between Bridgestone and Maplewood High School, which provides real-life educational opportunities for Nashville youth,” said Williams. “Bridgestone’s ongoing support is vital to the success of our program, and we are grateful for the continued contributions that enable our students to develop successful careers.” 

The Automotive Training Center at the Maplewood Academy of Entrepreneurship and Innovation was developed in 2015 by Bridgestone and Metro Nashville Public Schools in response to a nationwide shortage of automotive technicians.

The four-year program utilizes an onsite, fully functioning Firestone Complete Auto Care store and gives students the opportunity to interact with customers and practice the skills they’ve learned in the classroom.

More than 130 students have graduated from the program, and dozens of students have accepted positions working at Nashville-area Firestone Complete Auto Care stores. Bridgestone’s support of the Maplewood High School Automotive Training Center aligns with the Bridgestone E8 Commitment that consists of eight Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter “E” (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment) to realize a sustainable society. This program aligns with the company’s “Empowerment” commitment. 

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