Maintenance

Mentoring program trains students to be technicians

Posted on May 16, 2013

Alex Koontz (left) and Ahmed Alli, both students in Mid Florida Tech's Diesel Technology Program, work part-time in Orange County Public Schools' bus garages.
Alex Koontz (left) and Ahmed Alli, both students in Mid Florida Tech's Diesel Technology Program, work part-time in Orange County Public Schools' bus garages.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Students at a vocational school here are getting a chance to learn and work in school bus shops as part of an innovative mentorship program.

The program is a partnership between the Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) school bus maintenance team and Mid Florida Tech, a vocational school that is part of OCPS' career and technical education department.

Students who are interested in the program fill out an OCPS online application. Representatives from the school bus garage review the applications and arrange for interviews with selected students.

The students who are chosen for the mentorship program work as part-time OCPS employees. They work after school four days a week, from 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., in the various bus maintenance facilities throughout the district.

Students get the opportunity to learn from experts and gain valuable experience by working with professional OCPS diesel technicians.

“This has been a valuable learning experience which will definitely help me to get a job in the industry," said Alex Koontz, a post-secondary student enrolled in Mid Florida Tech’s Diesel Technology Program. "It’s the actual hands-on experience which will give me the edge over other people who are applying for the same job.”

Koontz added that he is also convinced that his education and work experience at the OCPS garage gave him the edge in winning first place in the SkillsUSA Diesel Equipment Technology state competition held in Pensacola in late April.

Ahmed Alli, a high school senior who is also enrolled in the program, took first in the high school Diesel Equipment Technology competition at SkillsUSA.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to work at the school bus garage and get the experience and hands-on training I need to be successful in the diesel technology field,” Alli said.

Both Koontz and Alli are raising money to compete in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Competition, which will be held in Kansas City, Mo., in June.

Related Topics: Florida

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Article

5 New School Bus Shop Tools

An app that helps track maintenance and fuel, a remote-controlled mobile column lift, and a portable LED work light are among the latest offerings that can assist in school bus maintenance.

News

Titan Bus Names First 2 Dealers

The Type A school bus newcomer launches its dealer network with Bobby’s Truck and Bus Repair in Ohio and Signature Bus Sales in New England.

Product

Timer Switch

The 5600 Timer Box is designed to provide flexible, efficient switching of LED lights in a compact unit.

The 7.7-liter DD8 medium-duty diesel engine will be offered for the Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner HDX school bus starting in 2018.
News

New Detroit DD8 Engine Revealed

The 7.7-liter medium-duty diesel engine will be offered for the Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner HDX school bus starting in 2018.

Titan Bus will soon start production of its own take on Type A school buses. In the background is the new company's facility in Ottawa, Ohio.
News

Titan to Bring New Type A to School Bus Market

Brian Barrington, an industry veteran and VP of the new venture, says that the Titan Bus line will boast a wider body and entry door, along with standard equipment like LED lighting, tinted glass, and a multiplex system.

Leonard Bus Sales was recognized as the IC Bus 2016 School Bus Dealer of the Year for business performance, customer satisfaction, and community service.
News

IC Bus Names Dealer of the Year for 2016

Leonard Bus Sales is recognized as the OEM’s North American School Bus Dealer of the Year for business performance, customer satisfaction, and community service.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!