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West Ada automotive students get hands dirty with experience

West Ada's Automotive Technology Program gives students a chance to get their hands dirty with real world experience! (KBOI 2 Staff)

Automotive students in the West Ada School District are bringing their skills to a higher level!

Like many technical education students, they're getting career ready through a mix of hands on training and classroom instruction.

West Ada's Automotive Program is offered to students attending high school in the district.

It gives students a chance to get their hands dirty with real world experience!

"It helps the kids understand what it's like to work in the field," said David Rhodes, Automotive Instructor. "Whether they enjoy doing it and if this is something they would like to do for a career."

The students go to their career technical classes every other day, for half the day.

Some students are also given a chance to intern in a real shop, like the one at the Kendall Dealership in Meridian.

"We got to see how the master technicians worked and operated," said Magnus Wattlas, a senior at Mountain View High School who interned at Kendall. "We got to see how to work in the quick lane doing oil and tires and stuff like that."

People bring in most of the cars that the students fix and the students do it for free — just looking for the experience!

"You know, a lot of this is not really just about teaching people how to work on cars and how to take cars apart and put them back together," said Rhodes. "It's a lot of things. Being respectful to people's property. Putting them in the right place. The logistics of ordering parts off of the computer. All of this stuff transfers over to many careers, not just automotive."

Not all career technical students will end up in their original field of choice — but, that's the point. It's meant to give students who will end up having a career in the industry a head start, while giving other students a low-risk option for figuring out it's not what they want to do."

"I used to want to have a career in automotive," said Luke Bingham, a senior at Mountain View High School. "As I've gone through this, I think it would just be more of a hobby. Just like, messing with my cars and tweaking them."

Yet, every year, Mr. Rhodes says a handful of students do choose to make a career out of what they've learned — whether that means going on for more training or getting a job right out of high school.

"I love to see kids out working in the field, making a living, and telling me, you know, 'you helped me achieve this level,'" said Rhodes.

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