The Chippewa Valley High School Engine Team took first place in the annual Macomb Engine Challenge at Macomb Community College March 23. Chippewa Valley recently received a grant that will be used to purchase new equipment for the auto tech program.

The Chippewa Valley High School Engine Team took first place in the annual Macomb Engine Challenge at Macomb Community College March 23. Chippewa Valley recently received a grant that will be used to purchase new equipment for the auto tech program.

Photo provided by Diane Blain


CVS auto tech program receives $51,000 grant

Equipment to be purchased this summer

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published May 28, 2019

 The late Margaret Dunning is pictured at a visit to Chippewa Valley’s construction trades program in 2014, one day before her 104th birthday. Her estate provided additional funding for the Margaret Dunning Foundation, which recently granted the auto tech program $51,000.

The late Margaret Dunning is pictured at a visit to Chippewa Valley’s construction trades program in 2014, one day before her 104th birthday. Her estate provided additional funding for the Margaret Dunning Foundation, which recently granted the auto tech program $51,000.

Photo provided by Diane Blain

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Some much-needed automotive equipment will soon be purchased thanks to a grant.

The Chippewa Valley Schools auto tech program received a $51,000 grant from the Margaret Dunning Foundation in early May.

The money will be used to support career and technical education, or CTE, learning for students interested in auto-related careers.

“Over $50,000 is a significant grant,” Chippewa Valley Schools Director of Career and Technical Education Claire Brisson said. “We received a $10,000 grant from Ingersoll Rand tools a few years ago, but nothing of this magnitude before.”

Roughly 65 students are in the two-year program, and Brisson said this was the first time the program applied for the grant from the foundation.

The grant will be used to purchase new equipment needed to provide students with real-life, hands-on experiential learning in the automotive field.

Items purchased with grant funds will include a new lift for the shop, welding equipment, cylinder head tooling, a new fabrication lab door, Hunter Automotive equipment for wheel and tire alignments, and computer diagnostics equipment that will provide for additional student stations.

“This generous donation will help move us into the future with modern equipment that will continue to prepare our students for real-world jobs,” Joe Hart, Chippewa Valley automotive technology instructor, said. “They will be learning and training on equipment currently in use in the industry, ensuring they have the right, high-demand skills coming out of high school. Many of our students have established great careers with local car dealers or end up pursuing a degree in engineering. We’re really proud of their success.”

Equipment will be purchased this summer and will be ready for students to use by the start of the 2019-20 school year.

“One of the biggest things with the grant is to provide a heavier duty lift,” Brisson said. “It requires a fair amount of work to install. We have to move another lift, and there’s a lot of concrete work to be done.”

Currently, light-duty trucks can’t be lifted.

“This will enable them to work on vehicles that we can’t currently put on a lift,” Brisson said. “The grant will also purchase scanners, so students working in groups will each have a scanner.”

The Margaret Dunning Foundation was founded in 1997. Dunning was born in 1910, and in her lifetime, was a businesswoman, a philanthropist and a civic booster. In addition to her personal philanthropy, she was a classic car enthusiast and was a regular participant in the Woodward Dream Cruise.

As a CTE supporter, she visited Chippewa’s construction trades program in 2014, one day before her 104th birthday. She died in 2015 at the age of 104.

“We’re really grateful to the Margaret Dunning Foundation,” Brisson said. “I personally met her a couple times, and I know a lot of people in the Detroit area remember her because she was so involved in the classic car community.”

Based on quotes obtained for the grant application, the $51,000 should cover all the cost for new equipment.

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