Auto briefs: White trucks, hurricane response, manufacturing scholars

A transition to white work trucks, recognition for people who acted heroically during Hurricane Harvey, and the expansion of a manufacturing scholarship program were among the items promoted by automakers and automotive organizations recently.

  • The orange trucks of the Connecticut Department of Transportation will soon be a thing of the past. The department is currently in the midst of a transition to white work trucks, starting with an order of 46 vehicles. The DOT says the orange specialty color extends the time needed to deliver a truck, and that transitioning to white saves $600 per vehicle. The department says visibility will not be compromised with the color change, since the trucks will still have high-visibility reflective striping and other features that exceed federal safety requirements.
  • Ford recently announced the winners of its "Ford Freedom 'Unsung Heroes of Harvey' Awards" to recognize individuals who aided in relief efforts during Hurricane Harvey last year. The automaker invited people in the greater area of Houston, Texas, to nominate people who had demonstrated heroism during the storm and subsequent flooding. A total of 27 people or groups will be recognized at a special reception.
  • BMW says it is doubling the size of its BMW Scholars program, which trains students to work in advanced manufacturing. The automaker is expanding the number of apprentices in the program to 200 and adding a fourth partner, Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, S.C. The program, first launched in 2011, provides pay and health care benefits and covers the cost of tuition and books for apprentices who work 20 to 25 hours per week at BMW's plant in Spartanburg, S.C.


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