Ford Motor Co. has donated $1.5 million to open three, state-of-the-art automotive repair training centers for disadvantaged young adults in the Detroit metro area, the Detroit Free Press reported. Ford officials, along with Michigan Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus, announced the donation Friday, Nov. 30, at a ceremony in Highland Park. The programs began accepting students at the beginning of the school year. The three Youth and Adult Automotive Training Centers are located at the Highland Park Youth Education Career Academy, the William D. Ford Career Technical Center in Westland, and Wayne County Community College, Taylor campus. The money was donated to the schools based on unemployment and poverty rates in the surrounding communities, said Karen Dukatz, a strategy manager for Ford. Mike Jordan, Ford’s president of Automotive Consumer Services Group, said the programs are needed because the industry has a shortage of about 60,000 qualified technicians. The one-year programs are expected to serve 15 to 20 students per year at each facility. The automotive students may also earn a high school diploma or GED. The students will be trained in the repair of brake, electrical, suspension, and climate-control systems as well as maintenance and oil changes. A major benefit is that students will be able to be paid for work at participating Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealerships, said Glenn Holman, the Highland Park academy’s director.