Many Adult Education programs at the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center start in the fall for full-year courses; however, there are times when starting in the fall doesn’t work for every student. For those individuals, the LCCTC offers winter start dates for two Adult Education programs, Welding and Automotive Technology. These courses also run a full year and cover the same skills and techniques as the programs that start in the fall.
As part of the run up to our January program starts, we offer a pair of student profiles. First, we meet Kayla Wollman, a former Adult Ed Automotive Technology student. Next week, we will meet Mike Leamons, a recent Welding Technology student. These program graduates explain how they got into their fields and give us a sense of how the LCCTC prepared them for their new careers.
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Meet Kayla Woolman, LCCTC Adult Ed Auto Tech Graduate
Kayla Wollman’s beginnings as an automotive technician started with needing repairs to the rear brakes in her first car.
“I started working on cars right after I graduated high school and bought my first vehicle. It needed some work and once I figured out how expensive the repairs would be, I started wondering if I would be able to do the repairs myself,” Kayla explained. She said that she picked up some tools and asked some people she knew for advice and that’s where it all started.
She said that the repairs went well and she was surprised at how much she enjoyed the work. She talked with some friends about automotive work and they suggested investigating career & technology centers for adult education programs.
Kayla did some research online and talked with her family who backed her decision to go to school. She decided to enroll in the Adult Education Automotive Technology program at the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center.
“I went into the program pretty much just know the very basics of what the tools were. I was extremely nervous not just from the not knowing very much but also being a female stepping into a male-dominated territory,” Kayla admitted. She said that those concerns went away pretty quickly after starting the program.
“I started getting into the class, talking to people, making friends with classmates, and after that all of the nervousness went away,” she said.
Kayla said that it was apparent that the program instructors really wanted all of the students to succeed. They helped each student work through whatever particular skill or technique they were struggling with.
“For me, it was the tires,” Kayla said. “I was so bad at mounting and demounting tires. My instructor knew that I was having trouble with it but he knew that I just needed experience. So he kept working with me and having me work on the same tire over and over again. I noticed that with the other students too. When we struggled with something, the teachers were right there to help you through it. They didn’t let you fall behind.”
Kayla was hired for a three-month cooperative education (co-op) position with Manheim Auto Auction in the main facility. She did well in co-op and at the end of Kayla’s Auto Tech program Manheim Auto Auction offered her a job where she is currently working today.
“The one thing about this industry is that every time you work on a different vehicle, there is always something new to learn. There is no way that you are going to learn it all in the nine months of the CTC’s Auto Tech program. Every single car is different,” Kayla said. She said that what the Adult Education Auto Tech does is prepare you with the basic skills, knowledge, and techniques of where to start.”
“I would tell anyone considering being an auto tech or going into any new job to just go for it!” she exclaimed. “The LCCTC is a good place to start when you’re ready to learn something new!”