Monday, May 3, 2010

Who Will Fix Your Car?

Who will fix your car five or ten years from now? Maybe you’ve noticed your mechanic’s hair turning grey, or perhaps disappearing entirely. Perhaps you’ve observed that your neighborhood high school no longer offers auto shop, that fewer young people are spending time in the driveway or family garage working on their “ride”.

These days community colleges provide the primary training ground for auto repair technicians. Students often enter several years after leaving high school, having realized that minimum wage work doesn’t provide much satisfaction or future, but without the support needed to successfully complete the two-year automotive technology program. Instructors tell stories of students living in their cars, subsisting on a diet of ramen, dropping out because a spouse lost a job.

For over twenty years the Association of Women in Automotive has raised money for scholarships for students in the automotive program at Portland Community College. You can help us by attending our plant sale this Saturday, May 8, in the parking lot at Hawthorne Auto Clinic, 4307 SE Hawthorne Blvd. from 8:30AM to 3:00PM. We are offering colorful annuals, vegetable starts, perennial divisions from members’ gardens, some natives, and even a smattering of rummage!

All proceeds go to assist automotive students. You can help a young person preparing for a career that pays a living wage, offers healthcare and other benefits, and performs a useful function in the community – keeping your vehicle in safe operating condition.

Liz Dally

President, Hawthorne Auto Clinic, Inc.