Cuyamaca College is gearing up for its annual Automotive Skills Day on May 6, a popular event showcasing the college’s renowned Automotive Technology program with competitions involving scores of high school and college students from throughout the county.
|Learning automotive skills at Cuyamaca College|
Other highlights include an Over the Hill Gang San Diego Car Club show; an interviewing workshop for students looking for jobs or internships in the industry; and various automotive-related games and challenges. In addition, the Automotive Service Councils of California will be displaying various vehicles and discussing career opportunities.
“Automotive Skills Day connects students with industry while allowing us to showcase what is one of the best programs of its kind in Southern California to the general public,” said Chris Branton, an instructor who is organizing the event along with Brad McCombs, the automotive technology program’s coordinator. “We’re also hoping this will open the eyes of high school students to the tremendous opportunities that exist in this line of work.”
Awards will be presented at 1 p.m., leaving enough time for those attending to meander to the annual Coyote Music Festival on the nearby Grand Lawn. That free, family-friendly event features six local bands on two stages and is the culmination of a semester-long project that teaches students all the production aspects – including planning, auditions, promotions and engineering – that come with staging a concert.
Automotive Skills Day highlights the increasingly sophisticated nature of automotive technology, and Cuyamaca College’s Automotive Technology and Automotive Service Excellence programs are considered among the best in the region. Cuyamaca College’s Automotive Technology program also offers the General Motors-sponsored ASEP (an acronym for Automotive Service Educational) program, which trains students in repairing and maintaining GM vehicles, and a Ford-sponsored ASSET (an acronym for Automotive Student Service Education Training) program, which trains students in repairing and maintaining Ford vehicles. Ford and GM dealerships sponsor students under their respective programs, and students alternate between on-campus instruction and paid work experience at the dealerships.
In addition, the Automotive Technology program is working with the Automotive Service Councils of California to establish as early as next year a program like ASEP and ASSET, but with a focus on independent dealerships and repair shops.