In today’s ultra competitive job market, individuals who have skills and practical, hands-on experience are more marketable. Employers — now more than ever — can only afford to hire skilled and experienced workers who will have an immediate, positive impact on their business. They need to hire employees who can “hit the ground running.”
Highland’s automotive program is structured so graduates have the skills and experience they need, whether they move directly into the workforce or transfer to a university — even on their first day.
Charles Nobis, a 2006 Warren High School graduate, is pursuing an automotive service certificate. He explained, “Highland’s program is set up like a real business. Students work on vehicles off the street.” Highland’s curriculum provides “real world” experience.
Even as a student, Nobis is familiar with “real world” experience. He’s been employed at Good People Automotive, Freeport, for more than a year. “Charles has been absolutely well trained on the basics of automotive repair at Highland”, said Tim Welch, Good People Automotive Service Manager. “I have worked Highland automotive instructors often when looking to hire qualified technicians.”
When Nobis started looking at colleges, the deciding factor came down to the bottom line. When asked why he chose Highland, he answers, “The price.” Nobis soon found out that there’s more to Highland than value.
With the guidance of Highland’s instructors, Nobis thrived in the college environment. “The instructors are really good. If you want a good learning environment, Highland is a great place to be. The environment is friendly, and it is easy to make friends.”
Kristin Stinnett, of Durand, says that the encouragement she received from instructors is one of the most memorable aspects of her Highland experience. When she first walked into the automotive classroom, she was a little uneasy. “It was intimidating at first.” She says, “After my first week, I realized this was a down-to-earth place, and I could learn a lot from these talented people.” She adds, “The instructors encouraged all of us to do our best.”
Stinnett’s praise for Highland and the instructors comes easily. “I liked how Highland’s courses are structured as well as the opportunity to be taught by ASE trained instructors. It is a family-oriented environment.” After completing her degree, Stinnett was prepared to leave Highland’s close-knit, familiar atmosphere for a much larger campus.
Stinnett is currently pursuing an automotive technology degree at Southern Illinois University. She says the academics and study skills that she learned at Highland provided good base. “Highland is an amazing school that prepares you to do your best, whether you plan to go directly into the workforce or on to college. Highland is a great school!” exclaims Stinnett.
Impressed with her experience, Stinnett plans to complete her degree and then aspires to gain field experience, work in the research field on quality and parts control, and ultimately teach in the community college setting.