The Voice for Industry
|July 2, 2009|
July 4th Special
Auto Shop for the 21st Century
The Economist magazine recently argued that America is home to the laziest children in the world because of our traditional three month vacation from school each summer. This upset us for two reasons.
First, we fear the charge is true. Based on some of the American kids we know, if the foreigners are breathing they have our kids licked.
Second, we know the charge is false. Forget the slugs. We know American kids who'll be world beaters including three students that we recently encountered at the Ingraham High School auto shop program in north Seattle.
We highlight them here in our first ever Seattle Industry Fourth of July Special Feature because their story has a nice, All American feel to it. Besides, the Economist is based in London, and if some English rag wants to offer opinion pieces about American character traits, we can't think of a better time of year to tell them to shove a stocking in it.
The students in our feature recently brewed up the auto shop's first batch of bio fuel from cooking grease, and two of them are shown in the accompanying photo -- Vincent Huang and Michael Haily, along with shop teacher, Don Reynoldson.
According to the Economist, this summer we might expect to find Vincent and Michael kicking back, spending most their days on the couch, eating chips and watching daytime soaps on TV.
Instead, Vincent is taking a full load of summer classes at South Seattle Community College and Michael is working fulltime at a Seattle-based non-profit agency.
When school resumes in September, Vincent and Michael will work with the teacher, Don Reynoldson, to refine the fuel to a point where Don will try using it to fire up the engine in his pick up truck.
Then there is a third member of the auto shop student team, Lucas Johanson, who is not in the picture. If you read the Economist, you might suspect Johanson was absent because he was lounging at the beach.
In reality, he didn't have time for the photo because he was too busy preparing to leave for Alaska where he is spending the summer working with his dad, a commercial fisherman.
The shop's bio fuel refinery is a converted hot water heater and Johanson was the student who took the lead in revamping it into a bio fuel processor.
That experience helped persuade Johanson that he might want to become a chemist, a new life possibility that is a tribute to Don Reynoldson's approach to auto shop.
Reynoldson spent most of his working life running an auto repair business until he decided to spend the last part of his career as a teacher.
He does not view auto shop just as an introduction to cars, but as a spring board to technology and the opportunities available to his students.
Listen to Reynoldson explain it, and the connections become clear. Cars run on fuel and fuel is chemistry. Auto body work is all about material science and design. Applied math is integral to all of it. Reynoldson says it can take him four pages to show other teachers the math problems his students are required to solve nearly every day.
Begin to master practical skills and sciences like these and your perspective on life's possibilities begins to grow along with your self confidence. As Don says, "In auto shop, it all comes together."
Sounds like a truth that's self evident to us and here's to their pursuit of happiness.
Seattle Industry is working with the Manufacturing Industrial Council to help develop an intern and shop equipment program to support Reynoldson and other local shop teachers. If you'd like to help, call 206-762-2470.
There is a Shortage of Skilled Workers
in the Aerospace Industry.
Link light rail starts Saturday, July
Seattle-Area Firms Targeting Stimulus
CTED Releases Guide for Small
6 Things Bus Riders Should Know About July's I-90 Lane Closures
In a few days, westbound Interstate 90 across Lake Washington will be narrowed from five lanes to two while crews replace the expansion joints on the westbound floating bridge. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is warning all motorists that the traffic delays could last an hour or more and stretch from Issaquah to Seattle.
The work begins Sunday, July 5 around 4:00 PM and should be completed by July 20. In addition to WSDOT's warnings for all motorists, here are a few things bus riders should know:
Delays – Bus travel times are expected to be delayed because all vehicles will be using the HOV express lanes across the lake into Seattle.
Reroutes – Metro is planning to reroute all Seattle-bound service that travels westbound on I-90 from Snoqualmie, Sammamish, Issaquah Highlands, Issaquah and Eastgate.
Eastgate boarding – The reroutes could cause some confusion for people who board buses around Eastgate.
South Bellevue traffic – Many routes will be detouring without stopping through the bus lanes at the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride in order to access I-90. But, only the regularly scheduled service will board passengers there.
Other disruptions – There will be other projects and events that could slow I-90 bus service from July 5-20.
New tools – Both WSDOT and Metro are offering new tools for tracking travel conditions during the I-90 lane closures.
For the complete report go to King County DOT Dash
Visit our Website
Issue is Here.
Email us for your copy.
Value of Work
Summer Youth Employment & Your Business
Natural Gas Boom
Signs of Economic Hope
Subscribe to our eBulletin.