CAMDEN, N.J. --Car maker Subaru isn't just bringing new, good-paying jobs to Camden, it's also ready to give local students a future with the company.
Back in December Subaru of America broke ground on a new US headquarters in Camden, promising it would bring roughly 700 jobs to this impoverished city.
Now the carmaker is joining forces with Respond, a local organization that promotes economic independence for city residents.
In a new garage with equipment donated by Subaru, students in Respond's automotive training classes will become a part of Subaru University.
There, they'll get the latest hands-on and computer training needed to qualify them for technician jobs with Subaru.
"These are good, high-paying jobs too," said Subaru of America CEO Tom Doll. "An average technician can make anywhere from $80,000 to well over $100,000."
"If they are able to get into the field of auto mechanics, they'll have a livable wage, they'll be able to take care of their families, they'll be able to become more productive in society," said the executive director of Respond, Dr. Wilbert Mitchell.
At a graduation for Respond's most recent class of mechanics, students say the Subaru partnership will offer more opportunity.
"It's a career path. They have placements, he has connections in different companies such as Subaru, such as different tire companies," said Steven Singleton.
"It means a better future. I already was in school for other stuff but I always wanted to do auto mechanics," said Antony Hairston.
"Their training is more extensive, more in detail, so now the students now have a broader horizon in their education," said instructor Patrick Moore.
Camden has an unemployment rate of about 12.3%, which is almost three times the state average, so creating new jobs here is critical for the city.
"This type of program allows the semi-skilled or the unskilled worker to be trained in a specific trade and they can get a job and these are great paying jobs," said Camden County Freeholder Jeff Nash.
Subaru executives say there's a shortage of technicians but partnerships like this will help produce more, and provide local residents with jobs that pay well over the minimum wage.