A ceremonial groundbreaking was held Wednesday for the Baton Rouge Community College’s Center of Excellence for Transportation Technology.

The automotive training center will be one of the anchors of the Ardendale development, which will be built on a 200-acre tract northeast of BRCC near Florida Boulevard.

The center will train college and high school students to work as mechanics and give them a chance to become familiar with the latest equipment.

“There’s a tremendous need for people with mechanical skills in our market,” said Matt McKay, president of All Star Automotive Group. McKay is helping to develop the curriculum at the training center and getting support from auto manufacturers for the classes.

The center will also be a place where veteran mechanics can complete certification programs. Plans are to open the training center between fall 2016 and early 2017.