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10 | Transportation Today Wisconsin™                                                      Online Edition:

                     Oconomowoc High School’s Autos Program is On the Move!

                                                                courses  catering   equipment simulator, offering students a safe yet
                                                                to varied interests,   hands-on environment to gain practical experi-
                                                                from   exploring   ence.  Students are also able to obtain a variety
                                                                automotive  essen-  of Snap-on and ASE certifications through the
                                                                tials  as  life  skills   classes  offered,  providing  them  a  competitive
                                                                to   charting   a   advantage as they explore job opportunities.
                                                                career  path  in   The  reintroduction  of  automotive  studies
                                                                this  industry.  For   at  Oconomowoc  High  School  has  not  only
                                                                those  looking  to   expanded  educational  opportunities  but  also
                                                                obtain  more  con-  opened doors to Youth Apprenticeships within
                                                                fidence on general   this pathway. This opportunity continues to grow
                                                                car  maintenance,   as students engage with this authentic opportu-
                                                                Consumer  Auto-  nity to learn more in the transportation industry
                                                                motive  provides   and  gain  valuable  on-the-job  skills.    We  cur-
                                                                f o u n d a t i o n a l   rently have several students participating in the
        Kyla Stefan,                                            knowledge helpful   Youth Apprenticeship Program in this pathway
        Coordinator of Career Programming   for anyone with a vehicle. Meanwhile, Auto 1,   who  plan  to  continue  working  full-time  with
        CTE Coordinator                     Auto  2,  and  Auto  3  cater  to  students  aspir-  their employer beyond high school, continuing
        Oconomowoc Area School District     ing  to  pursue  automotive  careers.  Moreover,   to expand their skillset and knowledge within the
            Oconomowoc High School is dedicated to   sophomores have the opportunity to delve into   industry.     of transportation and practical experiences. The
        equipping students for success beyond gradua-  transportation  career  exploration  via  business   The revival of the automotive program at   success of this initiative, evident in the growing
        tion,  emphasizing  career  readiness  through  its   visits  and  job  shadows  in  both  aviation  and   Oconomowoc High School has not only met the   participation in Youth Apprenticeships and the
        commitment  to  all  five  pathways.  Five  years   automotive  sectors  on  our  schoolwide  career,   increasing demand for automotive education but   widening  scope  of  offerings,  underscores  the
        ago, recognizing a critical gap, the school rein-  college, and life readiness day in fall.  has also surpassed expectations. Through a dedi-  program’s pivotal role in shaping well-rounded,
        troduced automotive courses, which gained an   As our automotive program evolves, we’re   cated curriculum and the guidance of instructor   career-ready  individuals  poised  for  success
        overwhelming response from students. With the   committed to broadening horizons further. We’re   Eric Varrelmann,  the  program  has  empowered   beyond high school.
        guidance of our instructor, Eric Varrelmann, we   exploring avenues to facilitate students in obtain-  students  to  explore  automotive  competencies
        expanded facilities and crafted a robust curricu-  ing  their  Commercial  Driver’s  License  (CDL)   as both a life skill and a potential career path.
        lum to meet this growing demand.    through courses at Waukesha County Technical   With  a  forward-thinking  approach,  the  school
            Presently, our program offers a spectrum of   College  (WCTC).  Additionally,  we  are  cur-  aims  to  continue  expanding  opportunities,
                                            rently exploring new resources such as a heavy   enabling students to delve deeper into the world

        A CIM Major’s Life Begins Now!

                                            work, or my career, around it.                                         nities that really reduce the overall cost of this
                                            I  was  also  worried  that  cen-                                      4-year degree.
                                            tering my college life around                                              I’m fortunate that my mom knew of the
                                            advanced  math  would  mean                                            CIM program, because not only am I enjoying
                                            less enjoyment of my overall                                           my college experience, but I’m surrounded by
                                            college experience.                                                    remarkable people and amazing opportunities
                                               Around  three  months                                               while I’m still in college.
                                            before  the  start  of  my  fresh-
                                            man year, I decided to declare
                                            a  Concrete  Industry  Man-
                                            agement  major.  My  mom
                                            suggested  CIM  because  I
                                            enjoyed  working  with  con-
                                            crete  my  whole  life,  and  the
                                            broad curriculum, with everything from prin-  managed or on which they were part of a team
                                            ciples of engineering to business management,   of professionals.
                                            meant  more  of  a  variety  in  my  education.  I   We recently visited a precast plant, and
                                            liked the idea of “learning more about more”   the  company  showed  us  some  of  their  large
                                            because specializing can close doors. I knew   projects.  It  was  amazing  to  see  how  you
                                            I wanted to keep my options, and those doors   can  make  concrete  structures  look  so  differ-
                                            open  when  it  came  to  career  choice  after   ent from one another but still have the same
                                            college.                            composition. We haven’t learned about archi-
                                               CIM  at  SDSu  was  the  right  choice.  I   tectural concrete yet, but I am looking forward
                                            currently have two Concrete Industry Manage-  to it.
                                            ment classes, among my other courses. Over   I  would  recommend  majoring  in  Con-
        Contributor: Kate Connor,           just  the  last  9  weeks,  our  CIM  classes  went   crete  Industry  Management  (CIM)  to  any
        SDSU CIM Freshman & Farmer          on five field trips, touring different plants and   student  considering  their  future  college  and
            When contemplating a future career path,   observing how different parts of the industry   career  options.  The  concrete  industry  sup-
        like many high school students, I planned to   come together to build our world. We have had   ports  SDSu’s  CIM  students  by  offering
        major in engineering, civil engineering to be   11 guest speakers talk to us about their variety   generous  scholarships,  and  paid  industry   “As an SDSU CIM student, I don’t have to wait
        exact.  However,  I  realized  I  did  not  enjoy   of  career  experiences  and  the  projects  they   experiential  learning  and  internship  opportu-  for graduation — I’m enjoying life now.”
        high level math enough to focus my every day                                                                                            —Kate
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