Students enrolled in Moraine Valley Community College’s Automotive Technology Program networked with Chicagoland area automobile dealers to discuss future career opportunities in their dealerships.
“There is an immediate need for technicians at the dealerships, so we collaborated with Ford to hold this event,” said Ira Siegel, associate professor and coordinator of the Automotive Technology Program. “We have a great program with an excellent reputation, so this is mutually beneficial. It lets the service managers see our program first-hand, and sit down and talk with our students.”
To prepare, students worked with the college’s Job Resource Center to create a resume to give to each of the service managers. “I want to be a service technician, so I thought this was a great opportunity,” said Jeremy Brown, a first-year student from Morgan Park. “Best case scenario, I get a job. But at the very least, I get more information.” David Kusper, a second-year student from Tinley Park, thought the event was enlightening. “This is a great chance to see what kinds of jobs are out there. The more doors you open, the more opportunities you have,” Kusper said.
Siegel pointed out that students in this program get actual hands-on experience. “Our students work on cars—real cars. That’s important,” Siegel said.
David Claster, service director at Joe Rizza Ford in Orland Park, talked about the need for employees who have a passion for the automotive industry. “You can train on how to do something, but you can’t train heart,” Claster said.
Instructor Bob Faoro said the school will host a similar event again in the future. “Overall, we were really pleased,” he said. “We had good feedback from the dealers, from Ford corporate office and the students who were there. We will plan to do this again.”
Moraine Valley’s Automotive Technology Program offers two associate degrees and six certificates that provide training in climate control, brake and chassis, drive train, automotive service, and more. In addition, Moraine Valley offers a 2 + 2 program with Southern Illinois University and Ferris State University in Grand Rapids. Students who are part of this program complete their first two years at Moraine Valley and move on to either of the universities for a bachelor’s degree. Credit for the automotive classes also is offered to those who are ASE NATEF certified.