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Clackamas Community College is among the beneficiaries of the now-closed automotive museum's gifts

FILE - Four NASCAR cars used by famous drivers were part of a Daytona 500 mockup at the World of Speed motorsports museum in Wilsonville in 2016.

Despite closing for good last spring due to effects of the pandemic, World of Speed is still finding a way to make a difference in the lives of local automotive enthusiasts.

The board of directors for the now-defunct organization agreed to donate the museum's assets to 51 museums and schools, as well as $375,000 apiece to Clackamas Community College (which has a campus in Wilsonville) and Clatsop Community College. World of Speed, which was located in Wilsonville, announced in May that it decided to shutter because it could not brave widespread closures that it projected would extend into 2021.

"We're grateful. It's certainly an honor for us. We're humbled by the gift and excited we get to benefit the students who are a part of our programs," said John Chang, the executive director of the Clackamas Community College Foundation.

Chang added that the donation will go toward providing tuition assistance and to purchase tools for students enrolled in its automotive program. Not to mention, he said some of the equipment they received (worth over $100,000) is expensive and sometimes hard to find.

Along with automotive tools, they also received four vehicles, laptops and personal protection equipment.

Chang said receiving training and gaining a footing in the automotive industry can be financially challenging for some and the donations will provide a huge lift to students.

"We're really grateful for the opportunity and World of Speed; it was a loss for all of us and (the gifts were) bittersweet. There are a lot of mixed emotions for us, but their loss is turning into a legacy so we're excited to do that work with them moving forward," Chang said.

COURTESY PHOTO: CLACKAMAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE - World of Speed's donations of money and tools will benefit students in the automotive program at Clackamas Community College. The CCC automotive program operates out of the campus in Oregon City and previously collaborated with World of Speed on an initiative for local high school students.

Thad Nolan, the Clatsop Community College Automotive Instructor, also expressed appreciation for the donations in a news release.

"This will open up more opportunities for students who want to get into an industry that not only is hurting for skilled workers but is an essential part of everyday life, especially in the midst of our current situation," he said.

World of Speed representatives could not be reached for comment.


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