CTE Non-traditional career day to introduce women to Auto Tech
HANCOCK — The Copper Country Intermediate School District’s Auto Tech Non-Traditional Automotive Technology Career Day is intended to encourage female students to consider automotive technology as a career. The non-traditional career day is open only to female high school students. Joe Galetto, career prep coordinator at the Auto Tech Center, said he is hoping to see more women consider the field.
“Our intent is to make it an annual thing. We’re not in it for one or two years. I think you got to build it so we’re looking at ‘okay, this is our second year, so hopefully, we’ll get 10 more students than we had last year, so that’ll have an impact. If we can continue it, it’ll grow.”
Galetto said during the 2014-15 school year, there were two female students enrolled in the Auto Tech program. This year there are four. He hopes that this year’s career day will have an impact on at least a couple of students who attend.
There are a number of reasons women are slow to enter the automotive field, Galetto thinks.
“Number One, I think it’s the old stereotype. I think that’s probably the biggest hinderance. I also think it’s a lack of good information,” he said.
Automobiles are far more advanced than they were years ago. In the times before vehicles became largely computerized, automotive repair people were referred to as auto mechanics. Today those in the industry are referred to as automotive technicians.
“It’s not the same as it was. It’s much more technical, obviously,” Galetto said. “I mean, you still need to change tires once in a while, and brakes, and stuff like that, but a lot of it is analytical. It’s plug in the computer, take a look at what it’s telling you, go to that component. Change that component.”
Another reason Galetto thinks the auto tech industry is not attracting women may be a lack of accurate career information.
“In other words, I think they look at an auto tech program and think, ‘well, we can’t make any money in Auto Tech, We’ll go into cosmetology, or we’ll go into nursing, or into a tradtional trade, and lo and behold, you can make some good money in Auto Tech if you’re aware of what it pays and how to go about it.”