Episode Description

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Wrench, Ben Zimmerman, Automotive Teacher, Verona High School joins us to talk about the increase in enrollment in his program, the support he receives from the industry, and how he teams up with local schools to run his advisory board meetings.

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Increasing Enrollment in High School Automotive Programs

  • Verona High School went from a single-bay to a four-bay shop that can fit 12 cars. The increase in space allowed for more students.
  • To increase enrollment, you need support from the administration. The administration needs to bring up your program and talk about how important it is.
  • Verona High School is a big advocate of not forcing every student to go to college. They believe their job isn’t to get students ready for a four-year school; it’s to get them ready for whatever path they want to go down. It’s not up to a school to decide which route a student wants to take.
  • Some students take automotive because they don’t know what they want to do in life. They need to try different things to figure out what they want to do (or do not) want to do.

Support From Local Industry

  • Make relationships with dealerships and get them involved with your program. Have them come and talk to your classes every semester. Make time for them.
  • Relationships with dealerships will help your program down the road and make it easier to get donations that are critical for a successful program.
  • Creating relationships with local dealerships helps students with employment after graduation.

Running a Successful Advisory Committee

  • The biggest strength of Ben’s advisory committee is teaming up and collaborating with neighboring schools. This is convenient for the industry because they can talk with four schools all in one place.
  • Most of the schools in your area are going through the same hurdles. It’s important to talk collaboratively and work together to help solve these problems.
  • Having many schools and industry professionals talking in one place gives the industry great exposure in your area and gets people talking to new people.
  • Instructors can learn so much from other schools in their area. They can compare what they’re teaching students and bounce ideas off of each other about the curriculum.

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:

Ben Zimmerman
Automotive Teacher, Verona High School


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