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.
EAST GREENWICH, RI – New England Institute of Technology has added to its extensive equipment inventory in the engineering technology department with high-tech systems used in industry to provide enhanced hands-on training to students in the college’s Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Technologies. Today’s employers are seeking highly skilled technicians in the manufacturing and engineering fields. The Instron 5982 Advanced Mechanical Testing System will give students the opportunity to evaluate mechanical properties of materials and components used in a variety of industries.
Typically found in commercial settings, the Instron 5982 is utilized in many industries, such as automotive, aerospace, and major highway/bridge construction, to test materials used in manufacturing various products. The most common uses of such mechanical testing systems are for tensile (pulling), compression (crushing), bend, peel, shear, tear and cyclic tests to determine the best material to use to manufacture a product. NEIT added the Instron 5982 to its lab equipment inventory so that engineering technology students in both the associate and bachelor’s degree programs are trained on state-of-the-art equipment, making these individuals highly sought after by today’s employers in the manufacturing and construction fields.
NEIT’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, including Civil Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology.
Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu
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.
The annual Ocean State Automotive Contest, hosted by New England Tech automotive school faculty in cooperation with the RI Automobile Dealers Association, provides an opportunity for high school seniors to demonstrate their automotive technical abilities.
Students must work at various stations to complete assigned tasks or to troubleshoot technical “bugs” that have been planted in the vehicles. The workstations include braking systems, steering and suspension systems, electrical and electronics systems, heating and air conditioning, engine repair, parts identification and engine performance.
Teams of two high school seniors from various Rhode Island high schools and career and technical centers had ten minutes to complete each station.
The winning teams received prizes ranging from Snap-on tools to NEIT scholarships.
The first place winners were awarded a one year tuition scholarship, second place winners received a $1,500 tuition scholarship, and the third place winners earned a $1,000 tuition scholarship. The winning teams will represent Rhode Island at the National Automotive Dealers Competition in New York on April 22-23, 2014. Congratulations to these outstanding students.
Note from Amanda Metzger, Admissions Special Events Coordinator:
New England Tech is cancelling the High School Ocean State Automotive Contest that is scheduled for Friday, February 8th. The contest has been rescheduled for Friday, February 15th.
In collaboration with the National Training Board, the Ministry of Public Works is providing sponsorship to five students to attend the New England Institute of Technology.
The students are:
- Dornielle Farrell – Associate Program in Automotive Technology
- Sergio Richardson – Associate Program in Automotive Technology
- Jonte Smith – Associate Program in Automotive Technology
- Ricardo Dias – Associates Program in Body and Paint Technology
- Dajon Carey – Bachelors Program Service Management Technology
Minister of Public Works Trevor Moniz recently greeted the students at the L.F. International Airport before they departed for the New England Institute of Technology.
“It gives me great pleasure to officially launch a new technical education initiative that is aimed at promoting a sustainable workforce. Our Senior Management team has worked tirelessly to assess the current employee complement within the Ministry of Public Works Operations and Engineering,” Minister Moniz said.
He continued: “The demand for certified professionals today is unprecedented. It is the intent of the National Training Board and the Department of Public Works through this partnership, to continue to emphasize the importance of qualifications and certifications as a way to demonstrate knowledge, skills and competency.
“It is also a way to allow for the continuance of operations for generations with individuals who are professional, proficient and committed in a vocational occupation.”
“We are grateful for the relationship that we have with the New England Institute of Technology through the NTB to allow a consistent approach in the development of local talent. Thank you for assisting us in building a stronger and more sustainable Bermuda,” the Minister concluded.proficient and committed in a vocational occupation.”
A statement issued by the PLP said they were “pleased to note that the OBA government has continued with this initiative started under our government.
“We are confident that these young gentlemen will benefit greatly from the opportunity to train at the New England Institute of Technology,” the PLP said.
“This programme, in collaboration with the National Training Board, offers students access to opportunities to gain technical education certifications and return to Bermuda qualified and able to enter the workforce.”
Shadow Minister of Public Works Derrick Burgess said: “I am very pleased that these young gentlemen have headed off to further their education and develop skillsets that will enable them to return to Bermuda, qualified and ready to get to work. We are proud that this relationship was started under a PLP Government and we note the fact that the OBA Government has endorsed the value of this program by continuing it.”
“The PLP congratulates these gentlemen on taking this next step in their education, and wishes them well in their studies and career development,” Mr Burgess concluded.
Boys often dream of cars but the dream has become a reality for one young mechanic.
Andre Smith, 21, earned a spot as an apprentice mechanic with Rayclan Ltd and hasn’t looked back.
“Andre’s had to prove himself from the bottom of the barrel,” said company manager Sharon Davis.
The Pembroke auto dealership and repair shop gambles on hiring and helping to train promising young Bermudians, in the hope that they’ll stick with it.
Not everyone has what it takes, she warned. The apprenticeship programme is anything but an easy ride.
Explained Ms Davis: “While our model may seem a long, drawn out one, spreading over almost four years of on-the-job training and classroom work, it separates the young people with not only the interest but the willingness to put in the time and effort for success, from those who may only have a passing interest and who aren’t prepared for the long haul.”
Rayclan co-owner Daniel Greenslade puts it a little differently: “A lot of times we get boys whose mothers call us up asking for a job.
“Right off the bat, that’s a bad sign — they need to have the gumption to come in and say, ‘This is what I’m doing, this is where I’m going’.”
Andre graduated from Mount St Agnes Academy four years ago and knew he wanted to work with cars.
“I always loved cars,” Andre said. “I had all the Hot Wheels cars when I was young. I would draw cars and watch all the car movies.
“I was in school asking myself what I could do that related to cars. Being a mechanic was one option for the field.”
He learned of Rayclan through “word of mouth” and ended up shadowing Gil Santos, described by Ms Davis as “a very demanding, tough-as-nails senior mechanic”.
Andre decided to put off college courses and focus on accruing experience. It turned into 18 months’ work.
“A lot of people come into this trade thinking it’s going to be easy or fun,” said Andre. “I wanted to make sure it was something I really wanted to do and to make sure I was good at it as well.
“This trade isn’t meant for everybody. I like waking up in the morning and liking what I do.
“It can be tough. I’ve got a car right now where the indicators aren’t working.
“I just replaced the fuses, but they came back with the same problem. There’s something making the fuses blow.
“So I have to make diagnostic steps and figure out what. I like that kind of problem-solving.”
The company was impressed enough to help pay for his associates degree at the New England School of Technology in 2010.
“The experience helped a lot,” recalled Andre. “Half the things I already knew or knew the gist of. That’s where I learned how it worked, and got the general courses like physics.
“I’d always wondered how I was going to need things like physics and algebra. When it was applied to the field, I could see it.”
Mentor mechanic Mr Santos has since moved on.
His replacement is Jonathan Davis, another company apprentice who went through the New England Institute of Technology and brought the skills back home.
Andre is now a junior mechanic with the company.
“It’s like being a car doctor,” he said. “When you diagnose problems you’ve got to do it correctly — or they’ll be back.
“Or sometimes a car comes in and we have to tell the customer that the problem hasn’t happened yet and they might have to bring it back. It can be hard but there’s always something new.”
Asked if the glamour had worn off when it came to getting covered in oil, Andre laughed.
“Everybody complains that it’s a dirty job. And it is. But that all depends on how you work. I wash up regularly. You can work clean.”