Auto program revs into action

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Edith Noriega | Staff Writer

May 29, 2014

Start your engines!

The Auto Club set its gear into drive at Riverside City College encouraging student involvement in the automotive program and assisting in job placement.

As a club, they are dedicated to educating, serving the community and building professional skills through projects.

“We decided to start a club based on students that had the same thing in common: those who love cars,” said Alisha Dugger, president of the Auto Club. “In our three years since we’ve volunteered at car shows. One of them being “Show and Go,” a well-known car show of more than 800 cars that takes place in downtown Riverside every year in May, as well as a veteran’s car show in November.”

Recently, the Auto Club had an open house where the members cleaned out the whole auto body shop and had demonstrations from taking tires off to showing electrical issues.

“It was open to the public and they had a chance to feel what the shop’s about,” Dugger said. “we actually let high schools know so the students who are interested can come check us out.”

“We also do shop tours, and go to other businesses and they give us tours of their shops and see how everything works,” Dugger continued. “The point of this is because we’re actually looking for potential employers for once our students graduate.”

There are four possible paths to pursue at the Auto Club: mechanical, electrical, body repair and trim and upholstery.

Trim and upholstery prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to install springs, fillings, padding, covering and finishing trim on automobile related products.

Body repair prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, reconstruct and finish automobile bodies, fenders and external features. This includes instruction in structure analysis, damage repair, non-structural analysis, mechanical and electrical components, plastic and adhesives, painting and refinishing techniques, damage analysis and estimating.

Mechanical prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, service and maintain all types of automobiles. This includes instruction on brake systems, engine repair suspension and steering, automatic and manual transmissions and drivetrains.

Electrical prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to operate, maintain and repair electrical electronic equipment with an automobile. This includes electrical circuitry, simple gearing, linkages and use of test equipment.

Upon completion of the programs above, students can be granted an associate degree or certification for a specific job title.

“Mostly we’re looking for people that actually want to be a part of the automotive industry,” Dugger said.

Currently the auto club members are working on a project car, an MR2 that was donated several years ago to one of the instructor’s. It needs a brand new motor, fresh paint and much more. They are hoping to have that project along the way this summer.