LUXEMBURG, Wis.— It’s exactly what Michael Snowberry wanted to hear: “I finally like coming to school, every single day.”
That was one of the reactions from a group of 20 students who are part of a new automotive maintenance technician program based at Luxemburg-Casco High School.
“That makes me feel good because my real purpose of being here is to help kids figure out what they want to do in life,” said Snowberry, the school district’s director of learning services.
The program is a partnership between several area school districts, area businesses, and northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Known as Ahnapee Automotive, it’s designed to give students hands-on experience in class and real service shops — while also setting them up to continue their education beyond high school.
That includes students like Joey Paul, who has put some of the skills he’s learned in class to practical use.
“For my own vehicle, I put new parts on it and it’s nice to see the outcome when everything is working as it should be,” he said.
The program builds both college credits and credit toward high school graduation. It’s also training the next generation of automotive technicians with the support of almost a dozen area automotive businesses.
“Everybody is looking for high-quality skilled workers and that’s what we’re trying to grow,” Snowberry said. “But you need an amazing facility like this and it can’t happen without that partnership. Schools don’t have the financial means to do that.”
The automotive instruction area was recently upgraded as part of a larger project at the school.
Snowberry says the district is looking to further expand its collaborative offerings in the region, including a diesel maintenance program it’s working on launching next year.
The automotive program has already found some fans.
“I enjoy coming to school more because it’s hands-on versus sitting in a classroom all day,” Paul said.