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WINTER 2022–23
               TRANSPORTATIONTODAY                                                                                                   WI         TM


                                                           YOUR WISCONSIN TRANSPORTATION CONNECTION

                         Sparking Interest in High-Demand Automotive Careers

                                                                                than 10 years. “When you look at how many   ogy, Pulaski recently added a body shop with a
                                                                                cars are on the road—they will all need repair   paint booth to expand the range of skills acces-
                                                                                at  some  point.  The  automotive  industry  just   sible to students.
                                                                                keeps getting more exciting as new technol-  Is  the  program  a  success?  Hundreds  of
                                                                                ogy comes along and then we train to work on   graduates  have  gone  on  to  technical  schools
                                                                                these new innovations.”           or have been hired directly after graduation. A
                                                                                   Automotive  training  of  this  intensity   number of students have honed their skills and
                                                                                would not be possible without local partners   opened their own neighborhood repair shops.
                                                                                who  serve  as  mentors  and  offer  internships.   Pulaski sees a significant number of students
                                                                                A number of local dealers, professional asso-  being  hired  as  youth  apprentices  while  in
                                                                                ciations, auto repair shops, and body shops are   high school and then transitioning to full-time
                                                                                actively  engaged  to  serve  as  guest  speakers   employment directly after they graduate.
                                                                                and volunteers. Partners also hire students as   “I love going to school every day,” said
                                                                                interns or youth apprentices.     a Pulaski student. “I’m training for something
                                                                                   An  advisory  board  made  up  of  com-  I want to do for the rest of my life. The wages
                                                                                munity  partners  is  essential  to  refining  and   are great and I know I’m not following a dead
                                                                                adapting the program. Industry experts regu-  end. I could not get this training anywhere else
                                                                                larly  review  curriculum,  skills,  technology,   in the city except for Pulaski.”
           Milwaukee Public Schools          (ASE),  which  sets  high  program  standards,   and student outcomes to make recommenda-
              Can students step out of high school and   requires instructors to maintain ASE certifica-  tions and provide connections that keep pace
           into a lucrative, in-demand career? The answer   tion, and allows students to earn a credential.  with ongoing changes in the industry.  schools.milwaukee.
           is yes at Casimir Pulaski High School in Mil-  At Pulaski, the pathway begins when stu-  As  a  result  of  ongoing  reviews  of  the
           waukee, Wisconsin. Students at Pulaski have   dents take a survey course. Beginning in the   automotive curriculum and classroom technol-
           the option to pursue an automotive program   sophomore year, students can enroll in courses
           that prepares them to work in auto shops or   such as engine repair, suspension and steering,
           car dealerships or to continue their training in   vehicle diagnosis, and auto servicing. Students
           technical school.                 learn  to  work  with  tools  and  technology  for
              Pulaski,  which  is  part  of  Milwau-  use with fuel injection, air induction, exhaust
           kee  Public  Schools,  has  offered  the   systems,  emission  controls,  and  more.  ASE
           automotive pathway for more than 30 years,   standards are followed for all instruction.
           and the program has grown to encompass three   Luis  Vallejo  and  Pablo  Bras  are  the
           complete auto shops with two full-time teach-  automotive  teachers  at  Pulaski.  Vallejo  is  a
           ers.  For  the  2022-23  school  year,  about  150   graduate of Pulaski who spent years working
           students are enrolled. By the time they gradu-  in  the  industry.  His  career  came  full  circle
           ate,  many  students  receive ASE  certification   when he left his employment and returned to
           and most will go on to technical schools.  Pulaski to teach. Bras was a Pulaski science
              The high school automotive program is   teacher who altered his own pathway to teach
           one of the largest in the state of Wisconsin and   auto body work.
           the only program in the city of Milwaukee. A   “Students who enter automotive careers
           key feature is certification by the Automotive   will always have a job,” said Vallejo, who has
           Service  Excellence  Educational  Foundation   been an automotive teacher at Pulaski for more

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                            WI Asphalt Paving Association  Rosen Automotive  Gateway Technical College

              Fabick Cat/Fox Valley Technical College  WI Operating Engineers 139  WI Ready Mix Concrete Association
                    North Dakota State College of Science  South Dakota State University  Gandrud Automotive

                                        Van Horn Automotive  Broadway Automotive  UW Superior
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