The City of Tulsa is partnering with Union Public Schools to offer internships to juniors and seniors each semester who have an interest in learning auto mechanics. This partnership will give students basic job skills that can help them in their path to prosperity.
These student interns will work alongside City of Tulsa employees who maintain the City's fleet of trucks, cars, backhoes and other large equipment and gain the knowledge and experience of working in a vehicle maintenance facility.
Eighteen students participated in the 2017-2018 school year. A total of 60 students have participated the past three years. There is already a waiting list for next school year.
The City of Tulsa is very proud to offer this program that not only helps with succession planning in the City, but allows the city to build upon Tulsa's workforce, one student at a time. Students from the program are invited to work part-time as Automotive Servicers during the summer months to continue their training. The City has employed five students in summer jobs to date. Forty-three percent of our current Automotive Servicers are graduates of the Learning with a Wrench Program.
Mohit Asnani graduated from the Learning with a Wrench Program and attended the University of Oklahoma for Mechanical Engineering. To help pay for college, he landed a $15.10 per hour job at a car dealership because of the certifications and experience he obtained from the program.
Monica Elias graduated from the Learning with a Wrench Program and decided to pursue IT-Automotive education through Oklahoma State University with the goal of starting her own business.
Joseph Maxwell and Cole Wright applied and interviewed for paid summer intern positions as Automotive Servicers within the City of Tulsa’s light and heavy PM vehicle garages following graduation and completion of the Learning with a Wrench Program. They worked during the summer applying the knowledge they learned in the program. At the end of the summer, full-time positions opened up and Joseph and Cole became the program’s first and second participants to become full time city employees.
Gary Burr, City of Tulsa EMD Shop Supervisor said this program has been just as successful for his staff as it has the students. "This experience was like nothing I ever expected," Burr said. "Along with mentoring and instructing students during the program, EMD employees have experienced a higher morale in their work groups and a pride in knowing they are impacting the lives of kids who share a similar passion - mechanical operations."
Burr said this program has been just as successful for his staff, resulting in higher morale in their work groups and a pride in knowing they are impacting the lives of kids who share a similar passion for mechanics.