MassBay Community College and Framingham High School have launched an automotive technology summer boot camp to help strengthen the pipeline of trained technicians. The boot camp, which is funded through the MassGrad and MassHire grants, will provide 25 recent Framingham High graduates and rising junior and senior students the opportunity to engage in a three-week hands-on intensive workshop to learn more about the automotive industry. This program was created to provide students with career exploration in an in-demand STEM field.
“The automotive industry is facing a critical shortage of trained automotive technicians, and MassBay’s premiere auto tech program is uniquely positioned to help,” said MassBay Automotive Technology Dean David Protano. “By collaborating with our partners at Framingham High School, we are providing a comprehensive look into the automotive field, what it takes to become a tech, and how working at a dealership or independent auto shop can provide a profitable and solid career path. We hope that the students participating in the boot camp will want to continue in the automotive industry, building a strong pipeline for the local workforce.”
MassBay automotive faculty designed an extensive curriculum that includes an overview of safety and tool maintenance, tire repairs and balancing, warranty and recall services, automotive repair pay scales, the diagnostic process, safety in the automotive labs, and other auto services. In addition to the free automotive classes, students participating in the program will receive a $1,500 stipend.
“This past school year Framingham High School launched the Student Success Academy (SSA),” said Framingham High School Vice Principal, Michelle McGahan. “One of our goals in the SSA is to empower students to explore/develop their passion and build a plan for their future. We do so through career exposure, exploration and education in different career pathways. Julie O’Leary, our Career Development Coordinator, organized two field trips to MassBay Automotive Technology this year and helped to establish this partnership and boot camp. As the boot camp teaches students about careers and skills used in the automotive industry, we hope they are better prepared to make informed decisions regarding their pathways after graduating from high school.”
The MassGrad and the MassHire grant were secured by Framingham High School and focus on education and career exploration. According to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) the MassGrad grant aim is “implementation of a career development” and allowing students to “see a future for themselves in a field of interest and create an individual pathway to success.” The MassHire grant addresses engaging students in highly engaging and paid STEM internships, while increasing opportunities for underrepresented high school students in STEM fields. A portion of each grant was used to fund the MassBay summer automotive technology boot camp. In addition, the Framingham-based MetroWest YMCA food distribution program is providing free healthy lunch daily to the student participants.
“I had little knowledge about cars before taking this workshop, and it has definitely changed my opinion about the auto tech industry,” said Framingham High senior, Kat Barry of Framingham, MA. “It’s an impressive program and I have learned so much in just a few days. There are so many parts and functions on a vehicle, and we haven’t even scratched the surface of the subject matter during this program. I rotated a tire today, and I’m pretty confident I could now change my own tire by myself, which are life skills I know will help me. This has definitely opened my eyes to the opportunities in the STEM field.”
MassBay’s Auto Technology is the premier automotive training center in the New England region offering programs that are sponsored by four major automotive brands; BMW, Toyota/Lexus, General Motors, and JEEP/Chrysler/Dodge/Ram, providing students with in-depth, product-specific automotive technology programs. MassBay also has a new non-manufacture specific All Brand General Studies program, which provides students with a comprehensive education and hands-on training on multiple types of makes and models of vehicles. Students are trained on the newest cars using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. The program has a hands-on paid co-op component, enabling students to learn in a professional setting while earning money and college credit simultaneously. MassBay’s automotive program has a 99% placement rate of graduates into full-time jobs by graduation.