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MCC graduates by the numbers: MCC celebrated the accomplishments of its graduates at the May 2011 commencement ceremony.

Summer 2011 | Archives

Troy Ramsey Ever since he was a kid, Troy Ramsey loved being in the shop. He helped his dad swap an engine at age 10. Later at Bellevue West High School, he was a top student who always earned As in his shop classes. So when his teachers approached him in 2006 about the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) high school Career Academy at MCC, he jumped at the opportunity.

AYES is a partnership among participating automotive manufacturers, dealerships and select automotive programs. It is designed to encourage young people to consider careers in retail automotive service.

Ramsey took Automotive Technology classes with MCC's Darrell Bush before starting an internship at Baxter Ford (formerly Performance Ford). There he received real-world work experience to help prepare him for additional education. He knew he was in the right place. "At first it was kind of scary, but the guys I worked around helped a lot," he said. "I enjoyed it. It got me where I am today."

AYES project Ramsey's high school experiences at MCC set him on a track for a factory training program and, eventually, a job as an automotive technician at Baxter Ford. Bush said Ramsey's story is the perfect example of how a Career Academy works—Ramsey was able to jumpstart his career with the experience he received in high school. More experience means students are more likely to be accepted into factory training programs where they can learn more, ask more advanced questions and master more of the upper-level skills required to handle vehicles' increasingly complex computerized systems.

Similarly, business partners like Baxter Ford benefit from growing skilled technicians from high school intern to full-time employee. For students, the extra experience often means higher wages. "Troy knew the direction he wanted to go, he knew the means available to get there and he had the skills and talent to succeed," Bush said. "He is highly valued and in high demand."

To learn more about the AYES program and other Career Academies, visit www.mccneb.edu/secondary.

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