No time to idle: BGHS automotives teacher readies students for jobs out of high school

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Jason Crone sees a lot of opportunities for his students and it isn’t just for As and Bs on a scorecard — he wants to help them find jobs. 

Crone, in his first year at Battle Ground High School, understands that it’s near impossible for a student to master a unique skill set during their short time under his tutelage, so instead he focuses on giving them the right tools so they’ll be equipped when the time comes. He does this by teaching them the skills that can land them an entry level position in the automotive field. 

“These basic skills will make them valuable to employees,” Crone said. “We’re building careers.” 

Crone knows that a different method could possibly attract more students, but ultimately they wouldn’t get as much out of it. 

“If I wanted to only talk about dirt bikes I’d have an endless line of students,” he said. 

Instead Crone teaches students things like basic diagnostics, which also improves communication and problem solving.

“That’s beneficial no matter where it’s applied,” he said. 

Specifically though, Crone said shops are always looking for someone who can do basic inspections when a customer comes in for an oil change or other routine maintenance. He also makes sure they know how to use tools and machines common to shops. 

Crone hopes to foster relationships with local businesses to even more smoothly segue students into career positions, a relationship he says will prove beneficial to both the district and community. 

 Furthermore, Crone plans to soon have a job shadow and internship program in place, which would allow students targeting a specific element of automotives to have more direct training. 

As Crone intends, some of his students aren’t waiting until they’re out of high school to put their skills to work. 

Senior William Roos said he’s changed the oil on almost every car owned by a family member, and most of the students have done repairs on their own cars. 

Senior Logan Uskoski works at Lobbestael Automotive in Brush Prairie. His position is a part of the Work Based Learning program, which allows him to use the position to earn school credits. He said he was able to secure the job through the experiences he gained in automotive class. 

Crone’s class is a part of the Battle Ground school district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. These are high school and middle school classes which umbrella skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies and career preparation. 

“Students in CTE programs are more connected to their interests and see how those interests can translate into a career,” said Cindy Arnold, the district’s Director of Career and Technical Education, in a recent news letter from the district. “CTE classes help students prepare to find and get jobs right out of high school, and also gives them the skills to be successful in college.”

Students aren’t limited to automotives though, middle and high school students within the district have their choice of 200 CTE courses. Visit

battlegroundps.org/district/

career-and-technical-education to learn more.

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