LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Southern High School has launched a new program to teach students automobile repair, while helping them gain industry certifications and college credit at the same time.

According to a news release from Jefferson County Public Schools, the program is called the Greater Louisville Auto Dealers Association (GLADA) Academy. Students enrolled at the academy can earn up to eight automotive service excellence (ASE) certifications, "which will qualify them for higher hourly rates, as well as college credit to help them transition to a similar program at Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC)."

According to Bryce Hibbard, principal of Southern High School, auto service technicians are in high demand. He says GLADA projects there will be a shortage of 30,000 auto service technicians in the Louisville area within the next 10 years.

"This program will help build that bridge from high school, to JCTC, to a successful career, by not only developing a pool of talented service technicians for the local industry, but helping them gain valuable firsthand experience," said Hibbard, according to the news release.

On Thursday, GLADA technicians and service managers are scheduled to tour the school at 3 p.m.

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