HEMET – Hemet High School received a certification in Automobile Service Technology from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation a branch of Automotive Service Excellence. They are the only high school in Riverside County that is AST certified. Hemet High School is also the only Automotive Youth Education System high school in the county.
Hemet High provides the Automotive Technology course through its Career and Technical Education pathway. Students enroll in the three-year program to gain an understanding of the automotive field. “Auto I” is an introduction to electrical and general systems; in “Auto II” students learn about brakes and suspension steering; and in “Auto III” students learn about engine performance then apply for an internship at a local automotive company. Throughout their time in the program, students gain hands-on experience from their teacher Vance Bloom.
Bloom has been teaching the automotive program since 1998. Since his leadership began, the program has received various awards and recognition. In 2006, he received CTE’s Teacher of the Year Award, the program received the Golden Bell Award in 2013 and the Riverside County Model of Academic Excellence Award in 2014.
Bloom set up a website for his students to view the curriculum online. This allows students to work at their own pace. Last year, his website was viewed 1.2 million times. People from all-around the world accessed his curriculum through this website, to teach themselves about the various components of a vehicle.
Due to the large number of openings in the automotive industry, students from Hemet High are often sought after to work for local automotive companies. Every year, Bloom hosts two advisory meetings to understand what local automotive shops are looking for in their potential employees. Due to Bloom’s communications, Hemet High students are well prepared for the industry once they complete the automotive technology CTE program.
Bloom also took an unusual approach to get students interested in the automotive industry. When he was applying for a grant, he was asked about his efforts to reach out to nontraditional automotive students. He worked with the dance teacher at Hemet High and set up a “nontraditional day” for students. Female students that were normally enrolled in a dance class would attend the automotive class instead, and vice versa. After this nontraditional day, he received a lot of positive feedback and enrollment from female students who had never been interested in the program.
“I encourage students to grow and do what they like,” said Bloom. He wants his students to join an industry that they are passionate about. He expressed his excitement as he goes into the various Gosch service departments and sees his former students working.
Congratulations Hemet High School on receiving the AST certification from NATEF.