Mechanics in training land job opportunity while in school
Published 2:31 pm Friday, April 21, 2023
By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor
Internships through the auto service program at LeCroy Career Technical Center create paid opportunities for students to gain experience.
Instructor Lee Brown said several businesses have partnered with the school in previous years to allow this opportunity. Most of these partnerships start with a company contacting Brown about being interested in having an intern.
This opportunity is open to seniors who are interested, have the level of skill necessary and have good grades.
Brown said the internships are important in “bridging that gap from school to work” by allowing students to build on the basic skills that they have learned at LCTC.
“I just enjoy seeing them getting a job and being able to use those skills that they learned here,” Brown said, commenting that many of the internships do become full-time jobs once the student graduates.
These are the students completing internships this school year.
Logan Bice of Chilton County High School is working at Stokes Automotive. Bice thought the internship was a good opportunity to expand his mechanical knowledge.
“Being at the trade school is already like being in a work place, so … it kind of gets you prepared to be in a shop and be ready for the stuff that you are going to face when you are actually in the shop,” Bice said.
Through the internship, he has gained experience working on transmissions and diesel vehicles as well as how to use the GM database for wiring configurations and other information.
“He has been hands-on with everything,” Stokes service manager David Walsh said. “… We have made him chase wires to let him learn how to do that (and) find out whether it is shorted or not.”
“Logan does a great job for us,” GM World certified Jason Lee, internship supervisor,
said. “He really does. He is very hands-on, very attentive … He is going to make a good technician one of these days.”
What Bice has enjoyed the most is the people he has been able to work with.
“Everybody here is really nice,” Bice said.
After graduation, Bice plans on working in the auto service industry.
Isaiah Davidson of Chilton County High School is working at McKinnon Toyota.
“I have always loved mechanics. I did since I was younger,” Davidson said, commenting that it was his grandfather’s interest in cars that piqued his interest.
After hearing about the opportunity from Brown, Davidson interviewed with the dealership.
During the interview, Davidson paid extra attention to making sure he sat up straight, smiled and spoke clearly.
Davidson said he was excited and thankful when he was offered an internship.
So far, he has changed oil and rotated tires.
“I have been in there with the master techs, and they taught me different things,” Davidson said. “They just continue to allow me to learn, and I get to make money while I’m in school.”
His hours have been flexible to work around classwork and athletics.
“He was plug and play, ready to go to work,” Jeff Smith of McKinnon said. “The school did a really nice job getting him up to speed.”
Smith said Davidson had the base knowledge he needed to get started.
“I really love the atmosphere of who I work with … it’s like a family,” Davidson said.
Davidson considered studying mechanics at Lawson State Community College, but now thinks he will choose to attend Faulkner University on an athletic scholarship to study sports management.
Mark McKinnon said the company had reached out to the school about the possibility of partnering by providing internship opportunities and donating some equipment to the program.
Such a partnership could create good, qualified candidates for potential hiring.
Keith Hayes from Maplesville High School is interning with Payton Equipment Group in partnership with Chilton Contractors.
“I really like the mechanic field,” Hayes said. “It runs in my family a little bit.”
The program at LCTC prepared him for “the shop setting, how to stay clean and organized, how to take stuff apart” and put it back together, he said.
There is variety to his work as an intern ranging from changing tires on a tractor trailer to working on hydraulic motors.
He said he was interested in the internship for the opportunity to learn more. He has enjoyed seeing new equipment and getting to work on it.
Hayes said some of the equipment is “huge” and a lot bigger than what he had anticipated getting to work on. He encouraged other students to take advantage of the internship opportunities through the school.
Shawn Simms of PEG said providing internships grew out of a tour CEO Allen Payton went on at LCTC, and they have had several interns since then.
“We have a vested interest in the county and the communities, so we wanted to assist the county in trying to develop a … stronger workforce and a larger workforce to be able to select from,” Simms said.
Rodney Payton of PEG said the company is passionate about helping students learn the skills they need for the industry.
“We really enjoy this program,” Rodney Payton said.
He said the LCTC students come into the internship with a good foundation from Brown, and Payton is “very proud of what Mr. Lee Brown is able to do with the students.”
Students completing the auto service program at LeCroy have the opportunity to develop the skills and receive the required certification to get a job in the field right after graduation.
For those wanting to work for a dealership, Brown recommends the program at Lawson State. The program has student spent eight weeks in the classroom followed by eight weeks of work, alternating for the two years of the program.