Students get inside look into automotive industry

Wednesday, around 100 high school students from southeast Minnesota had the opportunity to visit different auto shops in the area.
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 6:09 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Wednesday, around 100 high school students from southeast Minnesota had the opportunity to visit different auto shops in the area. There were students from Plainview-Elgin-Millville, Dover-Eyota, St. Charles, Wabasha-Kellogg, and Zumbrota-Mazeppa.

A nonprofit based in Rochester named Southeast Minnesota Cooperative set up the event to promote more students getting into the repair and automotive industry.

It’s an experience students can’t get in the classroom.

“It’s just a good opportunity to learn about the careers in the automotive industry,” PEM Sophomore Ryan Shroeder said,

“Going out and seeing different jobs helps actually see the real world instead of just in a classroom setting because most companies and most employers aren’t gonna be like a school setting,” PEM Junior Jade Mickow said.

The students were able to see what kinds of jobs may be available for them when they graduate high school.

“I like seeing the job opportunities and working on vehicles and maintaining them,” Ryan said.

“I feel like it’s just one of those things that’s going to keep growing. Cars are never going to go away,” Jade said.

The 17 auto shops were happy to provide these students with real world experience.

“A lot of what we do is hands-on training so being able to step out of the classroom and get into a real life shop where they can see the technicians and hear from them in person and hear the real life experience I think is the key component,” PENZ Automotive Group HR Generalist Savanna Cordle said.

While some high school students may feel nervous about what the future holds, these auto companies are excited to help guide them toward the right career path.

“They’re gonna be our next generation that are working and living in our communities, so we were super excited. We’ve been talking about different ways that we can be involved with the schools and just making sure that they know all of the opportunities,” Cordle said.

Southeast Service Cooperative career navigators say they are excited to do more career tours like this. Next fall, they plan to set up events with companies in the agriculture and food services industry.

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