Urbana High School teacher Dave Charney not only teaches Career and Technical Education at UHS but he also teaches at the Parkland College Dual Credit Automotive Program. He and Parkland Automotive Technology teacher Adam Karsh have worked together for the last few years to establish an engine competition team made up of local high school students. As part of the dual credit class, students learn to disassemble and reassemble a V-8 engine in under 33 minutes in order to qualify for the National Hotrodders of Tomorrow competition in Las Vegas. The program has grown over the years from one team of five students to now two teams of ten students. The two practice engines they currently have aren’t sufficient to allow every student adequate access to practice their skills.
Dave applied for a CUSF Career Awareness Grant in order to add a third engine to the program. Students who participate in the class learn valuable skills in communication and problem solving in addition to the automotive skills necessary in engine repair. The culmination of their hard work is qualifying for The Hotrodders of Tomorrow engine competition where they have the opportunity to network with business leaders in the automotive industry and learn about potential career opportunities. Dave says “By the end of the year, each of our students have jobs in the automotive industry, from working in an automotive repair facility to working at a local auto parts store.” CUSF is thrilled to be able to provide the funding for this innovative and motivational CTE program.