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: Leroy Goodwin

Name: Leroy Goodwin
School: Paulding County High School
Experience: 43 Years

Watch the Full Interview

Tell me about your program.

Our program started off with just an automotive program, and we’ve had a lot of success with it. I saw there was a need for a collision program and thought I would try to start one. I officially started the collision program last year, and I’m very fortunate to be able to keep growing the program and have several students working in the industry. This year, I took two students to state for Skills USA. One student finished in 3rd place and the other finished in 4th.

My program is set up to help fix cars for teachers and students who really can’t afford to get their cars fixed. This allows the students to get real hands-on learning opportunities. However, I don’t want to hurt the shops because the shops are who employs my students. We stay pretty busy, and I’m very proud of the work they do.

How do you attract students to your program?

We have a project where we take old car parts, recycle them, and then the kids use the recycled parts to build small six inch long cars. To get more students involved, we take the cars the students build and have a big race. The students have a lot of fun and can decorate their cars with stickers. I also try to work together with the other teachers to get them involved as well. We have an agriculture mechanics class who builds the track for us. We also have the physics students race marbles down a tunnel on the track and see who wins. This gets more kids involved when they see the race and the fun students are having.

Last year during our car show, I had five students leave with jobs. It’s really important to get involved in the community. I’ve also had people from my advisory committee come and support us. For all teachers out there, make sure you get on an advisory board.

Tell me about how you use WrenchWay.

I try to use WrenchWay more and more. I have my students watch several of the webinars and conversations you have. They are great for my students to learn what professionals are doing. WrenchWay has become an extra tool in my tool box now. It’s all about the jobs, and I’ll have my students go to WrenchWay Top Shops and look at the different job opportunities on there.

Final thoughts?

The most important thing is that these students are going out there and getting jobs. They have trouble finding them, and I’m thankful to WrenchWay for having that opportunity to help my kids get a job.

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