This article is part of an ongoing series to highlight fun/unique things different schools across the country are doing to attract students to their technician program, keep them engaged in the program, and set them up for a successful career as a technician.
Instructor Spotlight: Britton Hill
Name: Britton Hill
School: Johnson County Community College
# of years teaching: 1 Year
# of years as a technician: 17 Years
Watch the Full Interview
Tell me about your program.
This is my first year as a full-time faculty member at Johnson County Community College, but I did some adjunct teaching before that. Before teaching, I was a master technician at BMW for 15 years. I’ve been an active member of the advisory board at Johnson Community College for several years. It’s fun to see how the program has progressed from when I started. It has changed drastically, so it’s pretty cool to see it from the faculty side and utilize the things we’ve built along the way.
How do you attract students to your program? What excites students about your program?
We’ve just built a new facility at Johnson County Community College for our automotive program. The college saw a need in our community, so we built a fantastic facility. It’s nice to show it off, and I think students are really surprised when they come and check it out. We have also purchased an AR (Augmented Reality) machine that we plan on using when visiting middle and high schools to help gain their interest in the industry. We have some great relationships with local high schools—some with automotive programs and some without. We offer high school students who don’t have programs to come to the college, take courses, and develop relationships. Even the schools that do have programs, we invite them to come to the college to generate interest and hopefully have them come here after high school.
What do you wish more middle and high school students knew about the technician career and industry as a whole?
For me, I always saw the industry as a big opportunity. Students can learn to become automotive technicians. If they end up wanting to explore other opportunities, there are so many directions they can take those skills. I’ve met many upper level manufacturer executives who started out as technicians. There are so many pathways you can go starting with a technician role.
How does your program prepare students for industry?
We provide students with opportunities for job shadowing and getting involved in internship programs. This gives them opportunities to meet people in the industry and envision themselves in those spaces. The goal is to have students develop good relationships with good shops who are going to give them good experiences. We do a career fair once a year and do a handful of Dealer Days. Dealer Days allows individual dealers or dealer groups to come in and talk with our students and bring in some vehicles.
Tell us about how you use WrenchWay.
I’ve been following Jay Goninen and the growth of WrenchWay for a while now. When I came on as a full-time instructor at Johnson County Community College, WrenchWay had started the Top Schools program.
We just recently got our Top Schools profile out there, and it is really cool. One of the things I love is that we’re able to stay connected with industry. I created a School Connect request for job shadow opportunities and within not even 24 hours I was getting responses from local shops. We had a local shop owner say he’s been wanting to do this for a long time, and now we’ve built a partnership. I’m excited to see more shops in my area start to take advantage of WrenchWay.
I’m also very excited about Reverse Job Posts. We are creating a banner to put on one of our classroom doors with a QR code for students to get on the free WrenchWay mobile app and create a Reverse Job Post to easily find work opportunities. I love what WrenchWay is doing by helping connect schools with industry.
I would encourage schools to create a Top Schools page. WrenchWay has been great in helping us get it set up and making sure we have all the right content. WrenchWay School Connect also really helps schools develop those relationships with industry partners which is so important.