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This story was completed just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Jordan Williams has always had a knack for repairing cars and motorcycles. She said it probably all goes back to when she was little, spending time with her dad under the hood of various cars and watching as he worked on them.

Today, Williams is one of more than 40 students in the inaugural class at Moore Tech Automotive. At full capacity, the school will support 90 students.

The school provides students with the training and skills necessary to become successful auto technicians. It was born out of Memphis car dealers’ efforts to raise $4 million and equip a school designed to combat the shortage of car mechanics in the region by training a new workforce.

The project involved redeveloping a vacant and blighted former car dealership in Southeast Memphis to house the school. Financial assistance was needed to remove blight, complete redevelopment of the building, and improve the overall neighborhood quality of life. The project is located in a Census Tract that is designated severely distressed based on poverty, unemployment, and income. EDGE provided Moore Tech Automotive with a 15-year Community Builder PILOT to help eliminate blight and get the program up and running.

“Frankly without this PILOT in place, we would not have been able to buy as nice of equipment or buy the equipment that we needed to do this thing right,” said Moore Tech Automotive Director, Martin Gambill.

The school’s placement is expected to be 100 percent.

“Our students are required to work as part of their school,” said Gambill. “The overall picture is teaching our students what they need to know and get as many credentials in the process as we can and actually funnel them into a good career.”

Setting students like Williams up for a bright future doing what she loves.

“I’m very honored to be here, said Williams. “I love working on cars and motorcycles and I never knew how to further my career in it [until now].”

Moore Tech Automotive

Total Capital Investment: $2,396,000

Projected Tax Revenue: $456,929

Reduces Blight in South Memphis

Fills Gap in Auto Technician Workforce

Graduates Will Have a 100% Job Placement Rate