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Minnesota Careers in Auto Repair & Service provides high schools with supplies and training

“Everybody complains about the lack of technicians but very few are doing something about it,” says Dan Sjolseth, chairman of MNCARS. “I hope the industry takes note and follows our lead so we can have an even bigger impact.”

Roseville, Minn.—As part of its 2020 workplan, Minnesota Careers in Auto Repair & Service (MNCARS) “adopted” two high school programs to provide enhanced support and mentoring during the year.  With help from industry suppliers, MNCARS recently invested nearly $5,000 into automotive programs at White Bear Lake High School and Independent School District (ISD) 916.

Dan Sjolseth, chairman of MNCARS and owner of Superior Service Center in Eagan & Apple Valley.

“Everybody complains about the lack of technicians but very few are doing something about it,” said Dan Sjolseth, chairman of MNCARS and owner of Superior Service Center in Eagan & Apple Valley. “For five years now, AASP-MN and its members have funded and developed multiple resources to promote industry careers through MNCARS. I hope the industry takes note and follows our lead so we can have an even bigger impact.”

ISD 916, based at Century College in St. Paul, provides shared programming to 14-member school districts.  The automotive program, overseen by instructor John Witthauer, received equipment and supplies to support a new detailing program introduced this fall.  Shop vacs, pressure washers, buffers and detailing supplies — and training for their use — were among the items donated by MNCARS and its industry partners.  

“Last year the NE Metro 916 auto program committed to expand our curriculum to include an introductory class for detailing to allow our students to explore the auto body industry and to help the collision industry gain some new technicians,” Witthauer said. “We are grateful for the support we received from MNCARS, which will enable us to introduce the detailing classes in the spring semester of 2021.” 

The automotive program, headed by Derek Doescher at the White Bear Lake High School South Campus, received support in the form of multimeters, motor oil, wheel weights and other consumable supplies.  The program enjoys a current enrollment of more than140 students in five class offerings. 

“We could not be growing our program like we are without the assistance from MNCARS and our local industry,” Doescher said. “We have already taken leaps and bounds to improve the education the students receive.”

MNCARS has recognized the following industry supporters for their help in the effort:

  • 3M, Woodbury
  • Auto Value Parts Stores/APH, St. Cloud
  • Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, Owatonna
  • Finishmaster, Minneapolis
  • Key Automotive, Hugo
  • Lube-Tech & Partners, Golden Valley
  • Superior Service Center, Eagan/Apple Valley

Minnesota Careers in Auto Repair and Service (MNCARS) is a non-profit organization established in 2016 by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN).  Its sole purpose is to promote careers in the automotive industry, recruit young people into the state’s college-level automotive service and collision repair programs and, ultimately, into industry workplaces.  The comprehensive campaign includes event participation, social media engagement, YouTube advertising and other outreach efforts.  Visit www.carcareers.org to learn more.

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