Laurel Oaks program is national finalist — needs votes to place 1st

Vote for it on Facebook from Laurel Oaks diesel lab page

WILMINGTON — The Cars for Careers and Industrial Diesel Mechanics programs at Laurel Oaks have been selected as a top 3 finalist for a national award from Channel Lock tools.

Here is a link to the Laurel Oaks’ contest-finalist program video —

Each of the top 3 will receive tools for their program and a shop makeover for the first-place winner. You may remember that Industrial Diesel Mechanics instructor Gary Bronson won first prize of $100,000 in November being chosen as first-place winner in the Tools For Schools Teaching Excellence award.

“We need people to vote for us on Facebook from the Laurel Oaks Diesel lab page or the Channellock Tools page. The program that receives the most votes will win, so we need as much support as possible,” said Bronson.

The Channel Lock Trade School Trade-Up Competition gives trade schools across America the chance to win a free supply of Channel Lock tools, and a shop makeover. Winning a competition like this enables Laurel Oaks to provide cutting-edge, quality tools to students and instructors.

Cars for Careers is a program that provides licenses and transportation to students in need. While the Oaks is funded by public tax dollars, the Cars for Careers program depends entirely on donations and public support. Winning this award would enable us to fund the program for several years, and provide licenses and vehicles to many students in need.

The program is less than six months old but has already donated one vehicle (with another ready to be donated to a student) and has earned either a temporary permit or license for 9 students.

Cars for Careers was created through collaboration between a career technical teacher and a special education teacher to provide vehicles to students in need at Laurel Oaks. Laurel Oaks primarily serves Highland (Appalachia), Fayette, and Clinton counties. These rural counties do not have public transportation or the newer transportation services such as Lyft or Uber. Young adults in these counties need personal transportation to get to work and post-secondary education to be successful.

“Unfortunately we see many students who give up or do not take school seriously because they do not have the means to obtain a license or reliable transportation. This problem is especially prevalent among students with disabilities. This is why Cars for Careers was started,” Bronson stated.

Cars for Careers was started by Gary Bronson and Jack Wessel. They were talking about generational poverty and comparing experiences and talking about “actionable” ways to fix problems. They were trying to find ways to get kids to work and Cars for Careers was the result.

Here is a link to the prize that the Industrial Diesel Mechanics program at Laurel Oaks won previously.
Vote for it on Facebook from Laurel Oaks diesel lab page