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“Lifelong learners:” Grafton High School prepares students for auto tech industry

GRAFTON (CBS 58) – Two Grafton High School students placed fourth at the National Automotive Technology Competition in New York.

Sixty high School students representing each region of the county competed for the top prize. Teams of two put their automotive repair skills to the test. They had three hours to diagnose and repair a car.

“There were different computer modules in the car so when each system would malfunction we would have to diagnose,” said Nick Schmit, senior.

Grafton Seniors Nick Schmit and Trevor Guysky took home fourth place.

“If you get in the top five in the country, that's amazing,” said Carl Hader, automotive instructor.

Hader’s been the automotive instructor for the last 39 years. During his career, he’s helped 17 teams get to the national competition.

“The person who is doing this for a living they have to be so computer and mechanical literate,” said Hader.

In the car industry, there’s a shortage of auto technicians. Experts estimate tens of thousands trained workers are needed to keep up with the demand.

"It's the wave of the retirement that's happening in the automotive industry. There is a gigantic number of workers needed,” said Hader.

For students like Trevor Guysky, this is a field he’s always been interested in.

“I’ve always enjoyed the way things move and cars. It started off with bicycles and moved up as I got older to motor vehicles,” said Guysky.

As the cars change and the students graduate, Hader’s lessons remain the same.

"If I can send them out with work ethic that's the biggest thing and also to know that they are going to be lifelong learners,” said Hader.

Both Schmit and Guysky are enrolled in engineering programs for Fall 2018.

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