General Motors Canada donations enhance experiential learning at Niagara College


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Three new General Motors vehicles rolled into Niagara College’s Motive Power Lab this morning, destined for many years as key learning tools in Niagara College’s Motive Power programs.

The vehicles, a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, a 2018 Chevrolet Suburban and a 2018 Cadillac XTS, were generously donated to Niagara College by General Motors Canada to increase the hands-on learning opportunities offered to students. The three vehicles contain some of the most current automotive technologies employed in modern consumer cars, and will allow students to gain real-world experience diagnosing, fixing, and replacing these technologies.  

In addition, General Motors donated $50,000 to support the purchase of instructional equipment in the College’s recently opened Green Automotive Technology Lab. The 3,600-square-foot lab boasts electric vehicle charging stations, hybrid and electric motor diagnostic and simulation tools, alternative fuels technology, and vehicles that allow students unfettered access to the technology that will dominate the roads of the future. The Green Automotive Technology Lab will also be a hub for research activities into the future of automotive technology, working in concert with the College’s Research and Innovation division.

Carolyne Watts, plant manager at General Motors Canada’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, presented the donation to Niagara College president Dan Patterson at the College’s Rankin Technology Centre this morning.

“General Motors Canada is proud to support Niagara College with this gift,” said Watts. “The new Green Automotive Technology Lab and its innovative curriculum will no doubt further Niagara College’s leadership in automotive education and training, and help support the changing needs of an evolving auto industry.”

General Motors Canada has long been a strong supporter of Niagara College’s Motive Power programs. The company works closely with NC’s school of trades to provide guidance and input on program and curriculum development, and many NC grads go on to become service technicians or service managers in GM dealerships across the country. On August 27, 2015, GM Canada also donated a salvaged 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS, which students rebuilt over a period of two years, giving them the opportunity to practice hands-on body repair techniques.

GM’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant also partners with the College on several environmental initiatives, including collaborating for World Environment and Earth Day events, and hosting student field projects from the Ecosystem Restoration post-graduate program since 2011, and student interns from the Environmental Management and Assessment post-graduate program since 2013. 

“Niagara College is incredibly thankful to GM Canada for this generous gift, and for their ongoing support of our School of Trades,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “We pride ourselves on offering students a unique formula of hands-on, experiential training with the tools and technologies being used in industry, both now and in the future. This donation will allow our Motive Power students to train on the latest and greatest technologies in the automotive industry. As graduates, they’ll be well-prepared to enter this constantly evolving market.”

About Niagara College

Niagara College’s Motive Power Technician (Co-op) and Motive Power Techniques-Automotive programs prepare students for a successful career in the fast-paced and technologically advancing automotive industry. Successful graduates go on to pursue careers across Canada as automotive service technicians, service managers and advisors and more.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest part-time studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit

About General Motors in Canada

General Motors of Canada markets Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles through Canada’s impressive dealer network, as well as OnStar and MAVEN services. Headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario, GM Canada employs more than 8,000 people across the country and is a recognized leader in advanced manufacturing, green operations, active safety, and autonomous and connected vehicle technology research and development. For more information about General Motors Canada, please visit, or follow @GMcanada on Twitter.

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Niagara College president, Dan Patterson, and Carolyne Watts, plant manager at General Motors Canada St. Catharines Propulsion, stand with donated 2018 Chevrolet Silverado at the Green Automotive Technology Lab at Niagara College in Welland, Ont.


Niagara College student, Deepak Gupta, inspects under the hood of donated 2018 Cadillac XTS with Niagara College Board Chair, John Scott, Niagara College president, Dan Patterson, and Carolyne Watts, plant manager at General Motors Canada St. Catharines Propulsion at the Green Automotive Technology Lab at Niagara College in Welland, Ont.

Niagara College Contacts

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