SANFORD, Maine — Linda Zuke at Weirs Buick GMC set her funds where by her mouth is.
“I just want to get young children thrilled about heading into the trades right before they graduate,” she mentioned. “I walked into SRTC — and every thing is light-weight and brilliant, shiny and new — and reported, ‘This is wonderful!’”
The Arundel car or truck seller and vehicle-system store in Arundel recently donated $25,000 to the Sanford Regional Technological Middle via the Sanford Colleges Legacy Foundation. Its class is now named the Weirs Buick GMC Automotive Collision Repair service System.
And, of class, Weirs also assisted get the office off the floor before the new university opened in 2017 with a massive donation to the Automotive Technology program.
The foreseeable future starts off regionally at Sanford Regional Complex Centre.
“The whole concept guiding seeking to assist SRTC started off since we have to determine out how we get little ones involved in the trades,” mentioned Zuke, Weirs Dealer Principal and Owner. “Staffing is a really serious, really serious dilemma here and across the country. I’ve obtained to do a little something. I want experts! We need to feed the tech universities with children from high school, which then feeds our shops.”
She and Weirs Collision Centre Supervisor Bob Bernard were also encouraged by their latest hire, Sanford Superior University Course of 2021 graduate Amer Oglah. He was a scholar in the trades at the Regional Technical Heart, and Weirs hired him immediately out of significant school as an apprentice.
“His get the job done ethic came from dwelling, but his passion for the task came from college,” claimed Zuke. “They arrive out of there and they have an interest and a base with a very little bit of technological perception, but then they want to be totally educated. We will need more young ones coming out of the faculty like him.”
SRTC Director Kathy Sargent reported they require a lot more supporters like Weirs. Technological machines and actual field materials come at a substantial price, and that’s why donors are vital to the program’s achievements.
“We are really grateful for our partnership with Weirs, which has not only resulted in the important sponsorship of two SRTC applications, but also in employment options for our pupils,” stated Sargent. “Businesses such as Weirs comprehend the significance of supplying cutting-edge equipment and training to students so that they can grow to be our considerably-desired workforce of the long run.”
Bernard stated the 18-yr-outdated arrived with huge travel and a solid get the job done ethic.
“It’s truly refreshing to get anyone who’s so enthusiastic about understanding the trades he’s obtained a passion for his get the job done,” stated Bernard. “We have to have to permit young children know these options are readily available.”
Bernard, who at first went the college or university route as a teenager only to land himself in huge college student personal debt, is also passionate about driving youngsters into a promising vocation. “It’s an business in which they can compose their have ticket. It’s a great paying career, and it is not just ‘a job’ either. I’ve explained to him if you continue to be in the market, you will have a career for good.”
The time is right for the upcoming era, much too. “We have to have to get kids intrigued in the trades, now, “said Zuke, “because there is an older populace ideal now, with no one to exchange them. Median age at Weirs is higher 40s, and who will exchange them when they retire?”
“I have to do some thing to encourage little ones to imagine about the trades. This is a start out, but I really don’t consider it is plenty of.”
That is wherever teachers stage in, such as Jason Brown who was instrumental in piquing Oglah’s desire in automobile-entire body operate, significantly portray.
“As an instructor I seriously take pleasure in Weirs and their generosity and legitimate interest in the trades and exclusively the Auto Collision program right here at SRTC,” mentioned Brown. “The relationship built with Bob in the Weirs system store through university student hires has been a quite beneficial working experience for each the pupils and myself, and I seem ahead to continuing this in the upcoming. Thank you to all of the Weirs personnel for generating this transpire.”