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INDIANAPOLIS — A local business is taking action to find the next generation of workers by investing in teachers and students in their community.
Ed Martin Automotive has partnered with Lawrence Township Schools to create a program at the McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology that will help students control their future.
Students enrolled in the program will learn all facets of vehicle repairs.
After graduation students have two options: they can take the skills they've learned to a repair shop and make a career right after graduation, or they can work in an auto shop to make money and pay off college bills.
Leslie Cuatlayo knows she has options and has yet to make a decision.
"I find it interesting I want to fix cars," said Cuatlayo.
The Lawrence township junior is learning everything about fixing your vehicle from the engine to the transmission, the brakes system. She's enrolled at the Ed Martin Automotive Careers Training Center at the McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology in Indianapolis.
"Sometimes I try to help my dad change the oil. You get to know other things instead of makeup and stuff. For me, makeup is a girly thing... but mechanics is really cool."
Lawrence Township Schools partnered with Ed Martin Automotive to create this program at the McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology.
Since 2015, Ed Martin has contributed $75,000 annually to support the learning lab, especially with the latest equipment.
Another bonus students who graduate will find an employer willing to give the very best a "break" on an open job.
The Mc Kenzie has partnerships with several other employers in the district who invest time and treasure to make sure their future workforce has the skills they need.
Mari Swayne oversees several advisory boards that play a critical role in assisting the district in keeping their programs current and relevant.
"We are definitely in demand. A lot of times They want to make sure that they have good soft skills that they can speak to customers most say we will train them, but we need to know that they have a basic foundation of having some experience working with employees and employers relationships just knowing the basics," said Swayne
The Ed Martin Automotive Group careers training center total funding through the year 2020 is $375,000.
Beyond the vehicle program, the Ed Martin family also funded a scholarship to benefit a college-bound senior seeking an automotive career in technology or business.