Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) and McGovern Auto Group introduced Girls Inc. to the automotive industry at a recent community event at Toyota of Nashua. Nearly 50 girls in fourth through sixth grade got hands-on in an interactive learning experience on basic automotive skills. Taught by all female technicians from across the region, the community event enabled the girls to learn new skills and learn about future career options for the next generation of automotive technicians. LRCC offers three automotive technology degree and two certificate options, including the Toyota T-Ten program, for students interested in becoming a technician.
“We wanted to bring our community together to introduce these young people from Girls Inc. to the automotive industry in a fun and interactive way,” said Kim Stevenson, Toyota T-Ten Instructor at LRCC. “Learning basic automotive skills will empower them to be able to do things on their own and open doors to a career pathway as a future technician.”
Three cohorts of students arrived by bus from Girls Inc. centers in Nashua and Manchester. They turned up the heat at four interactive stations, learning how to replace wiper blades and light bulbs, change flat tires and cabin filters, and check oil. The stations were run by female techs from McGovern Auto Group – which owns numerous dealerships across New England including Toyota of Nashua. An additional team from Lexus Eastern drove to the event from New Jersey to provide extra support. Representatives from Mass Bay Community College, which is also a T-Ten school, were also on site to lend a hand.
“The girls are having a wonderful time learning about the automotive industry,” said Katie Doucey, Girls Inc. Nashua center director. “This event opened their eyes to taking them down a different career path than they may have ever imagined. They couldn’t wait to get home and share their new skills with their families.”
Girls Inc., in partnership with schools and the centers, focuses on the development of the whole girl to learn to value herself, take risks, and discover and develop her inherent strengths, according to the organization’s website. The combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment, and evidence-based programming equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers, and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.
“It is important for us to introduce young people to automotive repair and show them different ways they can take care of the car on the road in either an emergency or maintenance situation,” said Kenneth Webster, technical development administrator at McGovern Auto Group. “It was a great day to have some fun and show these girls some new cars and new technology.”
Toyota Boston Region delivered a Mirai and a Supra, two of the newest cars, enabling the girls to get into the driver seat. They learned about hybrid vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell technology. At the end of the day, the girls enjoyed a cookout and received fun merch from LRCC, T-TEN and Toyota Boston Region.