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Signing Day 

Automotive businesses hire high school juniors

We’ve all seen when athletes sign with colleges or professional sports teams. What if we had similar fanfare for students being signed to work for the automotive industry? On June 25, a “signing day” event was held in celebration of 32 high school juniors joining the payrolls of some of the biggest names in the local automotive industry.   

Traditionally competing automotive businesses have joined forces through Erie 1 BOCES to create a pipeline of qualified workers. Together, educators and business are providing high school students a unique pre-apprentice experience in the automotive technology and collision repair fields. Following this year’s instruction, the teens will now spend their summer as paid interns.

“You have made a wise decision on embarking on a lucrative career where you’ll always be in demand, at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, and in an industry that is rapidly evolving,” said Patrick Curry, chief of staff for NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, as he congratulated the students prior to the signing ceremony. “The days of being able to fix your car in your driveway are long gone. The sophisticated technology under the hood requires someone with the proper training, the right know-how and the computer skills to both diagnose a problem and be able to fix it. That person will be you.”

Businesses providing the paid internships include West Herr, Northtown, Towne, Basil, Auto Collision & Glass, Gabe’s Collision, Gerber Collision & Glass, Transitowne, Paddock & Continental Transmission.
“We’re able to take students who really have excelled in their field and put them into work, so they can take a test drive over the summer to see how well they like the work and how well we like them working for us,” said Jay Galligan, director of fixed operations for West Herr Automotive Group. “It lets them see what the industry provides for them. It’s that next step for them, being involved in their career and in their field.”

In addition to classroom instruction and the eligibility to participate in a paid summer internship, the students will be guaranteed a job interview for applicable openings at the partners’ locations.

“I’m really excited to sign with Transitowne because it is a great opportunity, not even for the money, but for the experience and the willingness to do it,” said Akron High School student Justin Riederer, who studies at the Harkness Career & Technical Center. “I’m very excited for my future because it’s a great career. A lot of people need help with their cars and it’s a great business to get into also."

About Career & Technical Education at Erie 1 BOCES

As part of public education, Erie 1 BOCES offers a variety of career and technical programs during the normal school day to high school students in Erie County. High school students interested in learning more about how they can participate in various hands-on programs should visit or speak with their high school counselor.


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