Skilled to Work: Roseburg High School brings back auto shop

The three-year program at Roseburg aims to prepare students to get a job right after high school.

Posted: Sep 10, 2018 6:15 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2018 6:44 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- For the first time in a decade, Roseburg High School is offering an auto shop program to students.

The three-year program at Roseburg aims to prepare students to get a job right after high school.

After they've been in the program for three years, students can get industry and factory certifications.

During those three years, their instructor wants to help fill in the gaps of their education and show them what the industry is looking for.

Student Aiden Hedstrom said he encourages anyone with access to a program like this in high school to give it a shot.

"I'd tell them to do it and to learn about it, just to put your hands into something new," Hedstrom said. "Even if you don't like it, it's something there, and you have the opportunity before going and spending your money to see if you like it or not."

Their instructor, Don Zell, has spent over 20 years in the industry and hopes to be able to share his knowledge and skills to help them get a leg-up on their career.

He said his ultimate goal with the program is to keep these kids working locally.

"They have a choice to stay in town, or receive the training here, and they can go other locations," Zell said. "But before now, they had to go out of town. Now we want to keep some of our talent here in town."

The program is still working on partnering with local industry leaders but is currently getting some help from local dealerships.

Those dealerships are providing the students with work coveralls, as well as used vehicles to work on.

There are students that won't be able to get certifications because they won't get the full three years.

However, this class will prepare them to excel in other programs, like the one at Umpqua Community College, if they want to continue their education.

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