Mountain View Tire (MTV), a 30-store chain in Southern California, is helping the next generation of tire and automotive technicians get traction in the real world. (Nick Mitsos, CEO and president of MTV, was named Modern Tire Dealer magazine’s Tire Dealer of the Year in 2011.)
Since 2010, the MVT staff has worked with Golden West College’s Auto Technology Department to give up-and-coming automotive techs a chance to broaden their education, while working in a professional environment.
Rex Jaramillo, work experience coordinator at Golden West, arranges the internships for an increasing number of participants.
"The program has grown from eight students in 2009 to its present size of 26 students," says Jaramillo. "And we anticipate more students in the future as word gets out about our new Certificate of Achievement program." That's a training option that prepares students to enter the workforce in a shorter amount of time.
While working with individual students and growing the school's network of internship providers, Jaramillo also has updated Golden West's auto technology courses to align with the latest standards and tasks of the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF). That makes program graduates better prepared for the job market.
"Many of our graduates have landed jobs as auto technicians," Jaramillo says. "One of our past graduates is supervising a student intern in our present program. A few own their own auto service and repair businesses locally. And some have their own mobile repair business."
Based on student feedback, the program is a success. "We've had high praise for this type of training: classroom and lab activities, backed by an internship experience," says Jaramillo. "Many past students have said that the internship experience was the best part of the whole program." He says students like the chance to prove themselves in the field by applying their skills and training to real jobs. "And almost daily, we field inquiries from other interested students who learned about the program from positive experiences of students already in the program.
"The greatest value our students get from working at Mountain View Tire is the positive learning atmosphere and the encouragement they receive. We're in the third year of our partnership with MVT and, so far, exit interviews with students have been all positive. From the store managers to the lead technicians who supervised the interns, the reviews have been thumbs up."
Jaramillo says, "The Mountain View Tire stores have a very organized, systematic approach to doing business. When it comes to good business practices, there seems to be more consistency between the different MVT stores. That comes from strong corporate standards, a can-do attitude, and progressive business principles.
"We appreciate and value our relationship with Mountain View Tire.They're providing an excellent public service by supporting our program." And Mountain View Tire is proud to be helping the next generation of automotive technicians get its start.”
For more details on Golden West College's Auto Technology Department, contact Rex Jaramillo at email@example.com. -- Scott Greggory