GREENVILLE — Representatives of local automotive businesses gathered with Greenville Career Tech Center instructors Tuesday to discuss happenings at the school’s auto tech program.
Instructors Jim Anderson and Travis Nicholas updated the AYES (Automotive Youth Educational Systems) Advisory Council on the status of the program’s “alternative fuels” project, which features a Chevy Volt, and the various students serving internships at local auto dealers, garages and parts shops.
Also on hand was Beti Yoder, Midwest Region ASE Industry Education Alliance Manager on behalf of the AYES program.
Yoder complimented the GHS Career Tech auto program, noting the high level of participation by students in the interns’ program.
“To see 8 to 10 interns out of a class of 15 students is fantastic,” she said.
Yoder said that the AYES program promotes internships “which may lead to permanent employment after graduation.”
Currently, there are 13 juniors and 15 seniors in the auto tech program. Those accepted as paid interns at local businesses typically work part-time hours and start at minimum wage.
Nicholas cautioned, however, that businesses not to wait too long to select interns for the next school year.
“By the time we get to our March 2016 meeting, they will probably all be spoken for,” he said.
Businesses on the Advisory Committee in attendance include American Honda, Dave Knapp Ford, Grilliot Alignment Service, Hamilton Auto Sales, Hittle Buick-GMC, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Schultz Motors, and Troutwine Auto Sales.
Anderson and Nicholas told the group that the auto tech program’s alternative fuels project continues to roll, and that the Chevy Volt is available for those in the community who wish to try it out.
“People who want to try it out for a few days or over a weekend just need to sign up, and take a pre-drive and post-drive survey online,” said Anderson, noting that the survey results “are as much a part of the project as the car itself.”
Anderson also said that the program is also planning to build an electric go-cart to complement the electric car.
“This will be for younger students who can’t yet drive the Volt,” he said.
Among other updates, the two mentioned that over time they hoped to upgrade the program’s shop tools.
“We will be coming up with a list of school-required tools that need replaced,” said Anderson.
Attendees were taken on a tour of the program, starting with a scale model of an alternative fuel station of the future as envisioned by the students, an up-close look at the Chevy Volt and charging station, and a visit to the garage.
Nicholas expressed his appreciation for the advisory committee, saying, “Their purpose is to tell us what our students need to know in order to get a job, what’s relevant in the real world, and what direction our program needs to go.”
He also praised the students participating in auto tech.
“What’s great about this class is that the students want to be here,” he said.
To see the latest updates on the auto tech project, go online to https://plus.google.com/+GreenvilleAutoTech/posts.
Erik Martin may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 937-569-4314.