March’s Unsung Hero: CPTC’s Automotive Program
Clover Park Technical College's Automotive Program has been given March's Unsung Hero award for their commitment to student success and their responsiveness to the local community.
Not only do the staff run one of the top auto schools in the country — they won the 2012 Tomorrow's Technician School of the Year Contest — but they also consistently participate in community events and ensure that their students can connect with local employers.
The longest-running of those community events is the annual car show that the program hosts. Instructor Gary Covington started it 22 years ago as a way to attract people to their building during the College's annual career conference. The show has grown from seven cars that first year to 150 cars in 2013. Staff and students work together to host the show, giving students an opportunity to network with the local auto-enthusiast community.
"We're always trying to keep our students involved," said instructor Wayne Bridges.
Students and staff also participate in the Automotive Service Association's Lights Out event, where they replace the exterior lights on people's cars for free. Along with that, they host the regional Skills USA competition, where CPTC students judge area high school teams in an automotive skills contest.
"Our whole staff is on the same page, going in the same direction," said Greg Richards, automotive collision technician instructor. "That's what makes us successful."