Student Perspective: Real Shop Experience Creates Opportunities
Hi, my name is Aidan Poirier. I’m a senior at Mascoma Valley Regional High School, and I attend the Automotive Technology program at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center (HACTC).
In class we learn about the different components of cars and how they operate. We get the chance to work on customer vehicles as well as the shop vehicles, putting the things we learn in the classroom on paper into a real life scenario on real cars. This helps us in class get real life experience as we learn it on a shop vehicle or customer vehicle. We’re able to learn and practice a bunch of stuff such as oil changes, tire changing, wiring and a lot more. We are also allowed to work on our own personal vehicles once in a while as well.
Attending the HACTC has given me the opportunity to meet kids from other schools, helping me gain communication skills and make new friends along the way as well. I have also worked on public speaking, making presentations, and have taken leadership opportunities.
The HACTC has also given me the opportunity to see inside car dealerships and small auto shops, as well as work in the dealership world and have that job experience to figure out if that’s really what I want to do. The class was able to visit Miller Auto at the end of our junior year. After visiting Miller, I put in my application and was hired there over the summer to do small work.
The HACTC has also given me the chance to compete in Skills USA, a competition giving students the chance to earn scholarships to different automotive tech schools. At Skills USA, I competed in Job Demonstration A, demonstrating an automotive skill. I demonstrated tires and how they are important to your handling, driveability, and safety. I will be competing in Skills USA again this year, but I haven’t decided yet what categories I will be competing in. Being part of Skills has helped me meet new people as well as try to earn scholarships and get my name out there.