Ford and Nassau Community College are forming a public-private partnership that will include an academic challenge for students, scholarship funds and test drives in electric cars on campus this fall.

The Michigan-based auto manufacturer and East Garden City-based college made the joint announcement Tuesday during the first week of classes of the fall semester. 

“Nassau Community College is proud and excited to be the first community college in New York State to partner with Ford Motor Company,” said NCC President W. Hubert Keen. “Public-private corporate partnerships are more important than ever to establish connections for our students as they graduate and pursue careers, and we are pleased that Ford Motor Company has chosen Nassau CC to bridge the gap between industry and academia.”

As a part of the program, an advanced marketing class will compete in an academic challenge to win Ford-sponsored scholarships. There will also be a “campus takeover” in which students can test drive and learn about Ford’s electric cars next month.

The initiative came after Ford’s New York Regional office won the Marketing Innovation Challenge, which was open to all Ford regional sales divisions, from the chief marketing executives at Ford World Headquarters. 

“Alternative fuel solutions is such an important topic for Ford as well as Long Island residents,” said Greg Thompson, New York Regional Manager. “As technology evolves, we often face challenges that require a new approach to the market. This partnership will raise awareness for sustainable vehicles, while allowing Ford to develop insights into an important local market. We saw this as a unique opportunity to work with creative students who know the pressures of commuting and can lend insight to the importance of sustainability in their community.” 

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.