Keys to a Career

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Gibbons Ford in Dickson City is in need of mechanics. The owners say that's a problem that's industry-wide right now.

Gibbons is hoping that some of the automotive tech students at The Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County will apply when they graduate.

Gibbons gave them a head start on Thursday.

Employees handed over the keys to a 2012 Ford Focus, a gift to the automotive tech students at the CTC on Rockwell Avenue in Scranton.

The students wasted no time getting under the hood.

"They can`t wait to tear it apart, we`re probably going to have to hide the keys for a while!" said teacher Bryan Peck.

The high schoolers from districts across the county got right to work.

"We checked out the oil, I think one of the covers was loose for air circulation," said North Pocono High School 11th grader Jacob Nedo.

The Focus is a big upgrade, most of the cars at the CTC are older than the kids. The newest car that the students work on is a 2005.

"The cars that we have here now have been picked over, you can practically take them apart without even a wrench, ratchet, or anything," added teacher Joseph Granteed.

Gibbons' donation is also self-serving. The dealership needs mechanics, and the new car can be a training tool for future job applicants.

"Everywhere I know is looking for technicians so, the more the better, they are in need, and we need them too," said Casey Medeiros of Gibbons Ford.

"It gives the chance for students to figure out exactly what the dealership experience is going to be like. They know exactly what the training is going to be like so that, in addition to this great car they gave us, is going to be a huge leg up to possibly join the Gibbons family when they graduate," Peck added.

Justin Wolf is an example of Gibbons' recruitment plan. He graduated from high school last year and already works at the Ford dealership.

"When I went here I didn`t get to learn about all the new computers that are in here and see what technology is being used currently. Working at Gibbons, and at Quick Lane, you never see the cars that we work on here, you see stuff like 2012's, 13's, 14's," Wolf said.

The automotive tech students at the CTC work on all different types of cars, not just Fords. But, the school has more Ford certified grads than any other technical high school in the country.