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automotive shop
Ahnapee Automotive is an educational initiative of the Luxemburg-Casco School District located within the high school. Through the program, students in their junior and senior years are provided with the opportunity to earn college credits while also receiving credit towards high school graduation through this partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC).

Through successful completion of NWTC’s Automotive Maintenance Technician (AMT) curriculum, students attain a one-year technical diploma. Following graduation from high school, they may choose to ladder into an associate degree in Automotive Technology or a two-year technical diploma as an Automotive Technician.

“The district believes in the importance of providing students with a wide range of educational choices. Our career-readiness programs offer students the opportunity to identify, or confirm, a career path that matches their interests,” says Superintendent Glenn Schlender. “Ahnapee Automotive is designed for those students with a mechanical aptitude, who enjoy diagnosing and solving automotive challenges.

auto shop sponsor wall
“The business community has told us that there is a huge need for highly trained automotive technicians, and that those technicians can earn lucrative salaries in a very broad market.”

To receive the one-year AMT technical diploma, students must complete 26 credits in courses such as Transportation Service Operations, Auto Service Operations, Brake Systems, Steering & Suspension Systems, Intro to Electrical Systems, Engine Repair, Engine Performance, Advanced Chassis Systems and Transportation Welding.

While some time is spent in the classroom, the majority of each course is conducted in the automotive shop. A former local automotive technician is the on-site instructor on behalf of NWTC, receiving assistance from L-C educators and staff.

The expanded and upgraded Automotive Shop on the northeast corner of the high school building, which opened in August 2020, has four fully equipped automotive bays with new lifts; a tire machine and balancer; equipment to perform brake maintenance; a set of tools for each station; and a new automotive lab with exhaust system.

L-C students participating in Ahnapee Automotive, one of roughly 20 such programs in the state of Wisconsin, can become certified by the ASE Education Foundation (formerly the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation) for Maintenance and Light Repair Program Standards. Holders of the certification can choose to work immediately in the automotive industry, pursue additional education, or do both.

automotive students working
Automotive Maintenance Technicians diagnose vehicle malfunctions, perform basic appropriate repairs, and recommend/conduct regular vehicle maintenance. Other related careers include Automotive Electronics Specialist, Brake Specialist, Engine Repair Specialist, and Steering, Suspension and Alignment Specialist.

Students involved in the program have the chance to receive on-the-job training through employment at area dealerships while still in high school as part of the Ahnapee Regional Youth Apprenticeship program. They also are paid and can earn a state-issued skills certificate.

One- or two-year apprenticeships are available in 16 different career clusters, including Transportation, Distribution & Logistics, with program oversight by an on-site director located within the high school. The apprenticeship program provides students with the opportunity to confirm that their intended post-secondary field of study is the right choice for them through authentic experiences. It also offers the chance for career exploration to undecided students.

Ahnapee Automotive is made possible by meaningful partnerships with the local automotive industry. Area companies who are supporting the automotive curriculum through investment and opportunities for hands-on student work are Dorsch Ford, Broadway Automotive, Gandrud Automotive Group, NAPA/Clover Auto Parts, NAPA/Ball Auto and Truck Parts, Phase III Service Center, Pilsen Auto Service, Auto Aces, New Franken Sales and Service, and McClure’s Service.

A total of $100,000 was donated to the program to help purchase the needed tools and equipment at its outset in the 2020-21 school year.

The program is a consortium of area schools, with most of the students coming from Luxemburg-Casco High School.