Mission: “Montana Automotive Technologies is committed to providing mentors to young adults and educating them through hands-on training. Our objective is to provide opportunities that focus on restoring vintage automobiles and preserving the past. We are committed to: teaching life skills and providing vocational education; fostering partnerships between young adults and senior adult mentors; and promoting the importance of civic participation and community involvement.”
Vision: To create opportunities for young adults to learn a trade, while preserving and displaying historical vehicles for the publics learning and enjoyment.
What is the institutional purpose? Realizing high schools no longer offer auto shop; our purpose is to present auto mechanics for high school students, by restoring and preserving vintage cars. This is being done by partnering with local shops as well as utilizing retired teachers, auto hobbyists and active auto related businesses as mentors. Some of our students are now attending through High School programs where the students are earning high school credits. We also work through the Montana Workforce Development Program where we instruct unwed mothers, fathers, and felons to have a chance to enter the automotive and related employment fields.
How is this purpose achieved? We are providing vehicles, tools and equipment as well as mentors to help students learn the basics of these trades. Having mentors from local shops provides part time and future full time employment opportunities for our students. The finished products are displayed and sold to raise funds for our school.
What opportunities do the students receive? Our students are provided opportunities thru mentors and various auto related shops around town to be mentored in these shops. And, if they perform well, can be offered part time employment opportunities. In addition, we take our students on fieldtrips to shops/dealerships around town. This way they can not only observe a real shop in operation but in some cases have “hands on” opportunities. Plus, we make our students maintain “project books” on goals and achievements for the particular project they are involved with. These entries are manually made in books in the shop. In this, they receive another life skill – scheduling and measuring performance against a plan.
How are we funded? We receive grants, as well as donations from our community. Cars and trucks have been donated which are sold to raise funds. Finished project vehicles are sold or raffled to purchase tools and pay overheads. Our goal is to be self sufficient thru the sales of our completed projects.
We have a “Contract of Understanding” with our students. This way we all know what to expect and what is expected of each other. Our students learn co-operation, teamwork, and problem solving. Plus, the importance of neatness, being on time, accountability and responsibility for their actions is an integral part of our curriculum. These life skills help them bridge the school-free time-work activity.