A tradition of
Our Founder Jim Moran believed “The future belongs to those who prepare for it. Let’s prepare our kids for a better future.”
YATC has been preparing students and graduates for success, positively impacting their lives, their families and our community since 1984.
Founded by automotive legend Jim Moran in 1984, the Youth Automotive Training Center (YATC) educates disadvantaged youth in basic automotive repair, academic remediation, job readiness and life management skills through a tuition-free, nine-month training program. YATC students have the opportunity to learn a trade, plan for the future and become productive members of the community.
YATC has grown from a one-room training center into a 16,000 square-foot modern facility featuring technical and academic classrooms, a computer learning center/library, state-of-the-art automotive shop, conference room, lunch room and fitness room. Graduates of the model program, along with their families, receive the continuing assistance needed to keep them on the right track for success.
With the leadership that was provided by our Founder Jim Moran and the ongoing support of a diverse group of community members, YATC provides solutions for young people who need a jump start in life and are willing to work hard for it.
Since YATC opened its doors in 1984, the program has been committed to our mission and to giving a helping hand to our students and graduates. Learn more about our history.
Jim Moran Established YATC
Jim Moran founded the Youth Automotive Training Center (YATC), administered by a Board of Directors, with 10 students and one automotive instructor in a converted garage at his JM Pontiac dealership in Hollywood, Florida.
First Two Classes Graduate
The first two classes graduated, and the school hosted a “Big Thank You Jamboree” for donors in appreciation of their support.
Life Management Skills
Training in life management skills was added to the school’s curriculum to include topics such as money management, establishing credit, healthcare, substance abuse recovery, career planning and goal setting.
First Jim Moran Classic
Jim Moran (center) hosted the first Jim Moran Classic, the school’s primary fundraiser, with participating celebrity golf pros Chi Chi Rodriguez (left) and Lee Trevino (right). Contributions covered the school’s annual operating expenses.
Technical Program Experiences Growth
YATC added a second technical instructor to enhance the automotive curriculum and increase the individual attention given to students.
Class of 1988 Graduate Charles Whitehouse (right) also later joined the staff in 1995.
YATC Renovates and Expands Program
A grand “re-opening” was held at the renovated 4,500 square-foot facility in Hollywood, Florida, and the school’s program was extended to nine months. An academic instructor was hired to assist students in GED preparation and with remediation in subjects such as math, English and history.
Jim Moran Award Established
The annual Jim Moran Award was established to recognize YATC supporters who go “above and beyond.” Among the first honorees to receive the award were Sid and Deanna Wolk of The Cross Country Group, pictured with Jim Moran (left) and Dick Knox (right).
YATC celebrated its 10th anniversary with a commemorative fundraising event and weekend full of activities.
Jim Moran Classic Celebrates 10-Year Milestone
Former president George H.W. Bush was a guest of honor at the 10th anniversary of the Jim Moran Classic.
Also this year, YATC received the Governor’s Community Investment Award from the State of Florida.
YATC Graduate Earns Four-Year College Degree
Dan McSweeney, Class of 1992 and current YATC Board member, graduated from Florida Atlantic University and became the first YATC graduate to earn a four-year college degree.
Capital Campaign Begins
YATC kicked off its five-year $5 million Capital Campaign to raise building, scholarship and endowment funds.
A special donor wall was later installed at the school to recognize the 1,647 contributors to the campaign.
YATC Moves to Deerfield Beach
A new 16,000 square-foot facility was built in Deerfield Beach featuring a computer learning center, academic classroom, technical classroom and 10 indoor car bays. With the additional space, the class size was expanded to 30 students.
YATC Staff Continues to Grow
YATC employs three technical instructors, all of whom are YATC graduates. In 2003 Roger Lamoreal (center, Class of XX) joined the team as the third technical instructor, joining fellow alumni Loren Kushner (right, Class of 1987) and Charles Whitehouse (left, Class of 1988).
YATC celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Advisory Board Welcomes First Graduate Member
YATC graduate Mike Mentis (Class of 1997, left) became the first alumni to serve on the Advisory Board. He is pictured with fellow Advisory Board member, the late Joe Jessup (right).
Also this year, Erin Lane Thomas became a member of the staff, joining Eddie Marchan as a Student Services Advisor.
Scholarship Fund Established
The Bruce Rossmeyer Memorial Kick Start Scholarship Fund was established to honor the memory of Bruce, loyal friend to YATC. The scholarship is awarded to a deserving graduate each year at graduation seeking to continue their studies.
Graduate Population Exceeds 500
Including the 2010 class, the total number of YATC graduates exceeds 500 since the school was established in 1984.
First Cool Wheels Car Show
The annual Cool Wheels Car Show debuted to promote YATC in the local automotive community and find employment opportunities for graduates and students.
School Benefits From Donor’s Generosity
Thanks to a generous gift from Vicki Shafer and her friends in memory of her husband Harold, longtime supporters of the school, YATC acquired its own bus to provide student transportation for events and field trips.
YATC celebrated 30 years of training and educating young people in automotive, academic and life skills.
Graduate Support Expands
YATC enhanced alumni support with the transition of Erin Thomas into the role of Manager of Graduate Services, providing more flexible, responsive ongoing assistance to our graduates after graduation.
Our Founder Jim Moran had the vision to establish YATC in 1984 on the foundation that young people who faced difficult childhoods and had many challenges in their young lives deserved a much-needed second chance for a successful, happy future. In addition to offering vocational services, including mechanical training, academic education and life skills management to students, Jim designed the YATC program to provide scholarships and ongoing support to its graduates to help them find jobs and continue achieving their goals. Jim Moran’s legacy of giving back is YATC’s bedrock.Learn More about Our Founder