Chris Chesney introduces high school students to aftermarket career opportunities
Lincoln, Neb.— Southeast Community College along with MWACA-Lincoln Chapter and the CARQUEST Technical Institute (CTI) hosted a career expo that focused on high school students who might be pursuing careers in the automotive field. The students in attendance were from three Lincoln-area high schools that have put an emphasis on automotive career training over the past few years.
“About five years ago, our high schools started phasing out all of their automotive classes,” said Sherri Stock, who is the current president of the MWACA-Lincoln Chapter and owner of inMotion Auto Care. “We knew we had to do something. Several other area shop owners and leaders in the industry have helped us keep them going by providing support over the last few years.”
The Automotive Career Expo was led by CTI’s Chris Chesney, who discussed new technologies and new features of the automotive industry to more than 100 students and parents. Entering his 45th year in the automotive aftermarket, Chesney has served in almost every role, from ASE-certified Master Technician to mentor to shop owner to trainer. For the past 18 years he has led one of the largest aftermarket training programs in North America with more than 50 instructors focused on training in all aspects of the aftermarket.
“We wanted to show these students that being in the automotive industry does not mean you are going to be working in a greasy, dirty environment,” Stock said. “Today’s automotive careers are a lot more technology over mechanical and it seems like most kids don’t get exposure to that side of the industry.”
MWACA-Lincoln vice president and owner of Custom Automotive Care, Justin Calhoun, added, “It’s important to show these students at a young age that they have options other than just going to college for a degree right after high school. Tech school options and careers in the automotive industry are readily available right now.”
The career expo was also presented in partnership with Agee’s Automotive, D-Rod Enterprises, BG Nebraska, and Speedway Motors. Overall, there were 10 vendors on hand for the event. The highlight of the event were scholarships that were given away to the students.
“The college is going to give away five $1,000 scholarships to students who attended the event. There were also two $500 scholarships that were raffled off at the event.”
The scholarship sponsors were Advance Auto Parts, BG Nebraska, Midwest Auto Care Alliance, inMOTION Auto Care, and H.I.S. Auto Service.