Tag Archives: school
A recent Akron Beacon Journal article showed us how automotive restoration projects can be a bridge to a more productive life for troubled youngsters.
In some ways, the 1948 Packard Victoria Convertible is a metaphor for the kids who will be restoring it: a treasure hiding beneath the visible dings and dents of a hard life.
But as with all the various “therapies” used with at-risk teens at the Packard Institute near Akron, turning the hunter green auto that’s currently missing its ragtop into a shimmering silver head-turner will teach them about the power of second chances.
Packard Institute, a Highland Square-based nonprofit that works mostly with young people struggling with substance abuse, took possession of the car with the intention of making it the “flagship” of the organization. The institute’s founder, Raynard Packard, is a distant cousin to James and William Packard, who founded Packard Automobiles in Warren, Ohio in 1899, “so it’s only fitting,” he said.
“About three years ago, we started getting these antique automobiles,” Packard said. “It’s a lot of fun, and the kids learn a skill set, but it’s really about building relationships. The car is a fun by-product of the relationships.”
Among the volunteers who have worked with the youngsters is Greg Delagrange, a Barberton, Ohio car restorer and Packard auto expert. “Greg has given $50,000 worth of hours with these kids,” Packard said.
“Some of these kids come from homes, let’s just say they aren’t the Cleavers,” Delagrange said, referencing the "Leave It to Beaver" sitcom from the ’50s and ’60s. “Sometimes I think they’re like this car: They get dumped and abandoned.” Others have attentive parents, but end up turning to drugs for a variety of reasons.
For more of the story, please read the complete article here.
I recently found out that McPherson College in Kansas is the only school in the U.S. offering a full 4-year degree in automotive restoration. So why am I telling this to you, someone who obviously knows a thing or two about the subject?
Well, one reason might be that you want to take it up a notch from being a weekend hobby to a full-time career. And if it's already your career, maybe a 4-year degree can help you expand your business. Nothing like making money at something you enjoy!
Here are some ways a 4-year degree in auto restoration might come in handy: expand and improve your skills as a general restoration technician, open your own restoration business, work for an auction company or museum, manage a collection, or work in other car-related businesses.
They all sound like good reasons to me to at least check it out here, whether for yourself or for someone you know who loves cars.
You can tell a lot about a college program by its friends, and here's a little nugget from that web site...
"This unique automotive restoration program attracted the attention of classic car enthusiast Jay Leno. In 1997, Leno established the Fred J. Duesenberg Scholarship at McPherson College to provide financial assistance for automotive restoration students. One year later, Leno combined forces with Popular Mechanics magazine to provide a full scholarship each year for a sophomore restoration student."
Those of us in the restoration business have wondered about this question for a while, and our trade group, the folks over at SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association), answered by setting up the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund. As their web site says, the fund's purpose is "fostering the next generation of automotive aftermarket industry leaders and innovators."
Many kids have a love of cars, and would be thrilled to be able to "marry" their appreciation for cars with their choice of livelihood. These scholarships are available for several career paths within the automotive industry—not just as a technician or professional restorer, but also in accounting, engineering, I.T., manufacturing, and many other related subjects. Wouldn't be surprised if a few ended up working at Eastwood!
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship was created to help fund a full-time program of automotive-related study at an accredited university, college or vocational/technical program in the U.S. Awards range from $1,000 to $2,000, with $4,000 going to the top student selected. For all the details and contact information, click here.
The online application will be available December 3, 2012.
If someone you know has a desire to pursue studies leading to a career in the automotive aftermarket or related field, please send them to the link above. (Sorry, high school seniors are ineligible.)