Monday, July 8, 2013

Eureka High School To Close Auto Shop, Unless...

When it comes to a career, I've always told kids to learn to do something that can't be outsourced to a far away country. Sure you might want to study music, art or history but in addition, I always suggest a trade. Plumber, electrician or auto mechanic are just three examples of jobs that are hard, if not impossible to outsource and they all pay a living wage.
Photo is from the Humboldt Sentinel

Today I am sad to hear that the School Board in Eureka is planning to eliminate the Eureka High School auto Shop Program. The program has been around for more than 50 years and many of its graduates have gone on to full time careers in the automotive field.  I have been told that all of the expensive equipment that accrued over the years will be sold off. Once the equipment is gone, it would be almost impossible to recreate the program so time is of the essence.

If you think the program should stay open, you can attend a special board meeting this Thursday night, July 11th at 5:30 pm at the administration building, 1915 J Street Eureka.

Please attend, this will be the last chance to let your voice be heard about this.

If you can't attend, you can call the Eureka City School Board Members:

Hank Beck 707-445-5876
Wendy Davis 707-444-6229
Fran Taplin 707-443-4255
Susan Johnson 707-443-1150
John Fullerton 707-444-3874

Update: It was a full house last night but that didn't seem to matter to the School Board. KIEM News Channel 3 reports: EUREKA SCHOOL BOARD VOTES TO END AUTO MECHANIC PROGRAM, MOVE IN NEW DIRECTION

17 comments:

  1. In my opinion they should shut down the entire bilingual program and keep the shops open. Learn english or get the hell out.

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  2. I agree, My wife is an immigrant and gets lots of work because she speaks english weel. She grew up in Laos so English really is a second language for her. She also can sew and has made clothes for people. learning German, French or other such Languages will not get you a job. Fixing a car will. Machinist and welders are in high demand and make good money. Most students leaving Humboldt can't get a job because they have no skills for the market. The schools do not ready the students for the real world just get them through the exit exam. Big deal.

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  3. In California one should learn both English and Spanish because when we became a state, those were the two languages spoken here and they still are. You can't pronounce the names of the streets and cities if you don't know how Spanish works. Who wants to change the name of San Francisco to Saint Francis? Same goes for French in Louisiana. I also believe that learning Mandarin might help one to get work in this new global economy.

    Still, a vocation is a good thing to fall back on, and one that can't be outsourced should be most desired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know a single thing about Spanish yet I can say San Francisco and San Diego just fine.

      Delete
    2. are you kidding me?July 11, 2013 at 6:58 PM

      First of all, English as a Second Language,(ESL) and Foreign Language classes are two completely different things. ESL is for people whose native language is not English, to teach them English. Learning a Foreign Language is actually about critical thinking and brain function, as well as an opportunity to learn about the world from a different point of view. Those classes are valuable even for the kid who wants to be a mechanic. The US is about the only industrialized nation whose high school graduates aren't fluent in a second language. Why does supporting the auto program have to be at the expense if something that many students want to take?

      Delete
  4. Want to talk to News Channel 3 about this? email me your contact info: kiemlashay@gmail.com

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  5. It will be interesting to see what sort of turnout they'll have at the board meeting. My guess is it won't be too impressive. I'm sure if they were cutting music or art classes it would be standing room only. I hope I'm proved wrong.

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    Replies
    1. It was standing room only and then overflow was put into the room next to the board room so they could pipe the audio into the room. Industry was there - all the local dealership/auto repair shop owners and their mechanics. Did not hear one person in favor of the proposal (although I had to leave at 7:30 and they were still taking comments). Board did not listen to what was said and voted to close the program. Very, very sad day!

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  6. I WILL BE THERE!!!! And spreading the word on my way!

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  7. swinterr@suddenlink.net. You can email a letter there that will be hand delivered to the meeting if you are unable to attend. I would appreciate your help alongside myself.

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    Replies
    1. I was wondering who swinterr@suddenlink.net is? I will not be able to attend tonight's meeting due to an existing obligation but would like to send an email that in hopes would be read with listening eyes.

      Thanks for your help.....

      Delete
  8. Nobody has bothered to say WHY it's closing: lack of interest, perhaps?

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  9. students who are working as mechanics or in related fields would be the most effective speakers.

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  10. If there is a lack of interest the question should be why?? This program gave my son a career, he went kicking and screaming in protest in the 10th grade and now owns his own smog shop grossing 100K per year. At least 3 of his classmates now work as mechanics at dealerships such as BMW - all making over 100K/year. I am against closing this program & plan to be at the meeting tonight. I have learned that the push to close this program is coming from the County Office of Education and Gary Eagles will be at the board meeting, Auto Shop is mostly an HROP program funded by the County Office of Education. According to Fran Taplin the ECS board did not learn about this until the last board meeting.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Here is what KIEM Channel 3 reported:

    EUREKA SCHOOL BOARD VOTES TO END AUTO MECHANIC PROGRAM, MOVE IN NEW DIRECTION
    Submitted by lashaywesley on Thu, 07/11/2013 - 21:56
    in News Stories
    After a more than a four hour special meeting, the Eureka City Schools Board of Education decided to end the auto mechanic program at Eureka High School.

    More than fifty community members showed up to the special meeting which filtered out into the hall and a second room. Several mechanics and other community members spoke at the meeting giving their support of the program.

    Eureka High School will continue to offer a mechanics program focused on power mechanics, which deals with diesel and hydraulic ASE certification.

    The board is moving in this direction under the idea that an education in these trades provides higher paying jobs. They made the decision to end the mechanics program after low student enrollment and the added cost of sending advanced students to classes at Fortuna High.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It looks like the board has changed their minds. They will offer auto shop but with some changes. This is actually good news.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete

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