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Our founder
Jim Moran

“The simple recipe for YATC’s success has never changed: offering its students an education in basic auto mechanics that will allow them to get good jobs to earn an honest living.”

Jim Moran, YATC Founder


Extending a helping hand

YATC’s Founder, Jim Moran, was known affectionately by so many he worked with as “The Boss.” It is thanks to his vision and caring focus that YATC has been able to impact the lives of so many young people, their families and our community for nearly four decades. Jim Moran believed in helping those who needed a second or even a third chance to success. His commitment to making our communities better touched all of us at YATC and continues to inspire us to do all we can to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Long before the Youth Automotive Training Center was established, Jim Moran became a recognized world leader in the automotive business. Born on August 8, 1918, in Chicago, Jim was an entrepreneur at heart. He began his career as a young man who had very little money but made up for it with a lot of hard work and a strong desire to succeed. In 1939, after saving every penny he could, he put together $360 to purchase a Sinclair gas station that soon became largest volume outlet in Chicago. After serving his country in World War II, Jim returned to Chicago and sold his first car – a used 1936 Ford Coupe – for $275 that he had reconditioned himself. A whole new world opened up for him that day.

He later relocated to Florida to battle – and win – a diagnosis of cancer. Not long after, he was approached by Toyota Motor Sales with the possibility of distributing Toyotas. On October 26, 1968, during his first visit to Japan, Jim was awarded the franchise to distribute Toyotas and Southeast Toyota Distributors was born. Other automotive-related businesses followed, including parent company JM Family Enterprises, Inc. Now it is one of the largest, most innovative and diversified companies in the automotive industry.

By 1984, when he established YATC, Jim also had built a life dedicated to “giving back” to his community through thoughtful, compassionate philanthropy. In 2000, together with his wife Jan, Jim established The Jim Moran Foundation to ensure that his legacy of giving would continue in perpetuity. Before his passing on April 24, 2007, Jim’s lifetime achievements were recognized by his 1996 Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Award and his 2005 induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame, the single greatest honor in the international motor vehicle industry. Jim’s vision, caring and commitment to helping others lives on through the mission of YATC and countless organizations he touched throughout his lifetime.

Learn more about Jim Moran and his legacy at the Jim Moran Foundation.

Mr. Moran with a YATC graduate