Episode Description

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Wrench, we are joined by Jim Bologa, CEO, Porter and Chester Institute. Jim discusses how students can understand their skill set, how to build students up for success, and the importance of continuing education. 

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Understanding Your Skills and Strengths

  • Take advantage of experiential education. This allows students to apply the skills they learn in the classroom to real life.
  • It’s important to understand what kind of learner you are and the environment you learn best in.
  • Students want to learn materials they know they’ll be able to apply in the real world, and understand why learning it is important.
  • Students need to figure out who they are, find themselves, and figure out what their passion is.

Guiding Students on the Right Path

  • Get young people in the work environment and allow them to truly see what it’s like in the career they want to pursue.
  • Expose students to opportunities like shop tours and job shadows where they can decide if this is the career for them.
  • Some students may think they like working on cars, but once they actually do it, they might not like it. You’re doing students a favor by not having them spend a lot of time and money on something they don’t want to pursue.
  • As an industry, we have to show students all the opportunities out there. They might surprise themselves with what they’re interested in.

Always Continue Learning

  • We must commit ourselves to training, whether it’s in the classroom, online, or in-person.
  • Make learning fun and not feel like learning. In automotive, technicians do really cool hands-on stuff and learn at the same time.
  • Make investments in training tools to help students and new technicians get better at their craft. Everybody is looking to become more efficient.
  • Do things over and over again until you become unconsciously competent.

Show Notes


Learn more about WrenchWay School Connect

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About Our Host:

Jay Goninen
Co-Founder & President, WrenchWay
jayg@wrenchway.com | 608.716.2122

About Our Guest:

Jim Bologa
CEO, Porter and Chester Institute


Lithia Motors started in 1946 as a single-point Dodge store, and since then has grown to be the second-largest publicly owned automotive group in the nation. Lithia Motors currently owns and operates over 280 stores in the United States and Canada. If you are interested in partnering with or working for a Lithia shop, learn more at lithia.com.

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