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About NewgateOur History

Newgate School was created in the early 1970s in partnership with the University of Minnesota. In 1975 our founder, Ron Severson, incorporated Newgate as a separate non-profit training school dedicated to helping young adults in the community build better lives for themselves and their families by developing lifelong careers in the automotive industry.


In 1979, assisted by the Northwest Area Foundation, Newgate purchased a garage in St. Paul and established the Auto Body Training Center, primarily serving young adults who had dropped out of school or weren't succeeding in a traditional classroom setting. In 1981 Newgate pioneered the concept of using donated vehicle sales as the school’s main funding source, eliminating dependency on tax-based government funding. This business model continues to work today.


In 1993, Newgate purchased its current property at 2900 East Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. MN. With more than four times the space, Newgate added an auto mechanics program and more than doubled our student roster. In 1996, Newgate began the “Wheels for Women” program, repairing better-quality donated cars that are then provided at no cost to single moms transitioning into school, work, and self-sufficiency.


Financed by a Minneapolis city bond, Newgate constructed a new modern training facility in 2004 for the expanded Auto Body Repair and Mechanic programs. In 2017, an addition to the auto mechanics shop doubled the capacity of that program. Today, you’ll find thriving Newgate graduates at work throughout the Twin Cities. They are successfully employed and moving forward positively with their lives, owning homes, raising families, and participating in civic activities.