Summer 2011 |
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."
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
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