Deaf Students Preparing for Real World, Ready to Join Workforce 2/12/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
February 12, 2013
Big Spring - The oil boom in the Permian Basin is attracting people from all walks of life, but it's also leaving a gap in the work force.
One Big Spring school is working to close that hole, while helping students take their next step into the real world.
Automotive students at the SWCID campus of Howard College are working to restore a military era ambulance this semester. They're learning lessons in this class they can carry into the workforce that desperately needs them. However there's one thing that sets these future workers apart, they can't hear.
They can fix a tire and connect wires; all the inner workings of a vehicle. These automotive students may be deaf, but they're learning to become auto mechanics.
"I work some with the corroborator," automotive student, Brandon Ray said.
"I hope they've gained how different everything works," Curtis Bruns, Automotive Technology Instructor for SWCID said.
The students learn what it takes to work with a vehicle everyday, just in a different way.
"Being deaf can be a challenge and frustrating because I can't hear when the engine is running and what is wrong with it specifically. A hearing person can use their ears to identify what might be wrong and fix it a little quicker. As a deaf person, we can feel the vibration in the motor and the different parts and tell when something isn't right," Jose Garcia, automotive student said.
These skills they're learning on older and new model vehicles will get them to their next phase in life and fill needed positions.
"They can go anywhere in the world and get a job. You have different styles and makes of cars, but they all essentially work the same," Bruns said. "We've placed several of our students in real world jobs."
The more students that go through this program, means more workforce ready people.