New England Tech would like to welcome Charles Klasman from the BMW Step Program to the Automotive Campus today! Charles is hosting an informational session for students interested in the BMW Step Education Programs. To date, five students from the Automotive Technology Associate Degree program have been accepted and will be training in New Jersey: Brendan Hadfield, Jack Stonely, Ryan Wells, Andrew Gendler, & David Salvati. Congratulations to those who have already been accepted and thank you, Charles, for visiting New England Tech!
Paul C. Harden of Newport, RI, will service as the college’s Director of Transportation Technologies for all automotive and marine technology programs. He comes to NEIT with many years of experience in both the public and private sectors. He served the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) in various roles, most recently as the Manager of Workforce Development and Business Services & Sector Lead for Marine Trades. Prior to his position, Harden coordinated the state’s responsibilities for the America’s Cup World Series overseeing public safety, logistics, transportation, and security for the event with over 30 public and private entities.
Harden earned a Master of Business Administration Degree from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY). He has served or currently serves on numerous boards and committees including the Workforce Partnership of Greater R.I., the R.I. Marine Trades Association, the Northeast Economic Developers Association, the R.I. Hospitality Education Foundation, the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities Employment Committee, and the R.I. Disability Business Enterprise Committee.
BMW of North America visited the Center for Automotive Technology at NEIT’s Access Road campus on Thursday, August 7, 2014, to speak with more than 75 students about the BMW STEP program for technicians. Charles Klasman, from the BMW Headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, along with Charlie Antoniou, Service Manager of BMW of Shrewsbury, MA, presented three sessions regarding job opportunities and career paths that BMW has to offer NEIT graduates. BMW recruits automotive and collision repair graduates to work in its dealerships throughout the country and has been a longtime employer with NEIT. Many NEIT graduates have established careers as BMW Master Technicians.
Michael Isabella, Assistant Professor, Automotive Technology, along with Dr. Robin Schutt, Assistant Provost, developed an innovative program involving Special Olympics Rhode Island, and NEIT’s Automotive Technology department, based on a similar program Mike initiated while employed at West Bay Vocational (now Coventry Career Center.) Robin has been a dedicated volunteer for Special Olympics for four years serving in various capacities including Excelsior for the 2013 Penquin Plunge. Through their concerted efforts, a winning program was created at New England Tech.
With the help of volunteer automotive students, faculty and staff, twelve Special Olympians will visit NEIT’s Center for Automotive Technology for six weeks. In two hour sessions, one day per week, the Olympians will learn basic automotive skills that include car maintenance such as washing and vacuuming, along with basic lighting and safety checks.
Special thanks to students Tom Rawlinson, Joe Zing, Zack Casper, Mike Hogan, Wayne Turley Jr., Daniel Champagne, and Jake Gelacek along with faculty and staff members Herb Gowdey, Derek Martel, Norm Messinger, Dan Perry and Donald Champigny, Sr., for sharing their time and talent with the Special Olympians and giving back to our community.