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My Town Holland: Careerline Tech Center students gain work experience while helping community | Business

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My Town Holland: Careerline Tech Center students gain work experience while helping community
My Town Holland: Careerline Tech Center students gain work experience while helping community

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Students from the Automotive Services Assistant Program at Careerline Tech Center in Holland are gaining real-world work experience at Holland Rescue Mission Auto Center. In this first year of the collaboration, students have detailed ten donated cars and helped increase car sales and therefore donations to the Holland Rescue Mission.

“As a Work Readiness classroom our ultimate goal is to give students the tools they need to be successful in any job, both now and in the future,” Rich Riolo, Automotive Services Assistant Program instructor for CTC, said. “Along with car detailing, this program also teaches students employability skills and aims to place students on a job site by the end of the year to gain valuable work experience.”

In an effort to work with and give back to the community, Riolo contacted the Holland Mission Auto Center. He proposed donating the car detailing service for donated cars to Cal Morrow, manager of auto sales for the Auto Center, and a partnership formed.

Donated cars spend three to four days at the Tech Center while students clean them top to bottom putting newly learned skills into practice. After an instructor has inspected their work, Mission staff picks up the finished vehicle during classroom hours giving students the benefit of interacting with “customers” and receiving feedback on their work.

Holland Rescue Mission staff said detailing the students provided increased the value of the vehicles. Another Mission staff member stated a woman was in tears after buying her car saying, ‘I’ve never owned such a beautiful car!’

“The CTC Auto Services class does such a good job on our vehicles, I posted a sign for the program giving credit to the students,” Morrow said. “I want people to know who does our detailing!”

The students have enjoyed and benefited from the partnership as well.

“I feel proud when the Mission tells us how great a car looks,” Vincent Dashner, Grand Haven High School junior, said. “I learned so much in this class, and now I get to use what I learned to help somebody else.”

“This community collaboration has been a win-win: our students gain valuable, real-world work experience and give back to the community at the same time,” Renee Kolean, Automotive Services Assistant Program paraprofessional for CTC, said. “As instructors, it’s rewarding to see our students demonstrate professional detailing abilities, take pride in their work and gain more confidence through the program.”

A service of the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, Careerline Tech Center prepares high school juniors and seniors for tomorrow's workforce by providing career and technical education for employment and post-secondary opportunities while promoting life-long learning and personal success. www.oaisd.org/ctc

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