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Ford Media Center
DEARBORN, Mich., March 2, 2016 – Ford Trucks and Ford Motor Company Fund are teaming with Texas FFA Association to sponsor the automaker’s Driving Skills for Life program to encourage safe driving habits among teenagers throughout Texas.
Driving Skills for Life was established in 2003 by Ford Fund, Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed drivers the necessary skills for safer driving, and the importance of making good decisions behind the wheel. Globally, more than 800,000 new drivers have gained valuable safe driving experiences from the program.
Through free, hands-on ride-and-drive courses, classroom material and an interactive website, the core curriculum focuses on vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed management and space management.
“Since 1997, Ford has awarded more than $8 million in college scholarships to FFA students nationwide, and today we are furthering our commitment by together striving to combat the leading cause of death for young people in the U.S. through education and hands-on training,” said James Graham, global manager, Driving Skills for Life, Ford Fund.
Between March and June, all 1,000 Texas high school FFA chapters will participate in the online Driving Skills for Life Academy. Following the completion of the online courses, Texas FFA members will be eligible to participate in a hands-on driving clinic at the 88th Texas FFA State Convention in Dallas in July.
“At Ford, we take great pride in promoting safe driving habits to young people, and are excited to team up with the Texas FFA to sponsor this fun, interactive curriculum,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “As both our largest truck market and home to the largest FFA membership base, Texas is a natural choice to host this exciting extension of the Ford-FFA relationship.”
FFA members participating in the ride-and-drive event at the convention will benefit from the Driving Skills for Life program’s recent initiative to expand its curriculum on impaired driving. Participants will have the opportunity to wear a suit and goggles that mimic how being impaired can make a person’s movements slower, reduce coordination, blur vision and cause certain tasks to be difficult to complete.
Texas is home to the largest FFA organization with 1,050 local chapters and more than 114,000 members. At the college level, 170,000 students are enrolled in agricultural science courses, and there are 1,950 agricultural science education teachers in the state. Ford will award more than 500 scholarships to FFA members in 2016.
“FFA and Ford have a longstanding history, having worked together for nearly 70 years,” said Aaron Alejandro, executive director, Texas FFA Foundation. “With more than 1,000 chapters across the state, we believe a significant impact can be made in creating awareness of the dangers facing newly licensed drivers and, more importantly, providing necessary skills for safe driving habits.”
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 203,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
The Texas FFA is one of the nation’s largest state FFA Associations with more than 114,000 members and more than 1,050 FFA chapters. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through hands-on agricultural education. For more information about the Texas FFA Association, visit www.texasffa.org.