There is so much to cover regarding the Race Car Technology department at Forsyth Tech in Winston-Salem, it’s hard to know where to start.

The program started in 1999 and in 2003 became accredited by the state, offering an associate degree after completion of the two-year, 76-hour school. And it’s not all car classes either. Students have to take humanities classes, varying from oral communication to interpersonal psychology to expository writing. All with the goal of being well rounded graduates.

Randy Buttner, program coordinator, started with the school in 2001 and does he love what he does. A former racer and chassis builder, Randy is proud of the program and says that more than 20 graduates are employed at Richard Childress Racing alone. In fact Childress was so impressed with his original hires, he has put his name and money into the school. It’s called Richard Childress Race Car Technology at Forsyth Tech.

Twenty students each year produce 10-15 graduates each semester. Students build cars from the ground up, field race cars at area tracks, all while learning skills that can garner employment in other fields like tool and die making, TIG welding and heating and air conditioning. None of this breaks the bank either. In-state students pay less than $5,000 to earn an associate degree in Race Car Technology.

In fact, students from Winston-Salem State University’s classes for its Sport Management major come to Forsyth Tech for Tech Aspects 101.

Forsyth Tech (the rest of it, that is) normally has a student body of 10,000 and it offers certificate and two-year degree programs. There are more than 190 programs, ranging from nursing to carpentry to plumbing to cardiovascular sonography. There is something for everyone.

Thanks to Randy Buttner for his enthusiastic tour. You can learn more here.


Corinne Economaki