I am the owner of Lech Garage & Auto Body Inc., and I find this article disturbing and inaccurate. I have Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School students work with us regularly. The students who want a career in collision repair or mechanical repair are very eager to learn.
Sure they are green but they have to start somewhere. I have a student who graduated two years ago and has been with me since then and now his knowledge of repair techniques has taken off.
I had a senior student work the summer full time and throughout the fall. He hopes to open his own custom shop in the future. If he continues as he is, he certainly can do it.
I have a junior working now. His interest is refinishing. He is eager to do all that is asked of him and he definitely has a knack for painting.
Many of the students have never had jobs before. It’s all new to them. They do require extra supervision but by letting them shadow and help out “A” techs they thrive. Then giving them their own small jobs gives them self pride. I love to see how proud they are when they complete a job.
Mr. DeGrace keeps close tabs on all the students and does a wonderful job for the school. I have had some of the girls in the program come into my shop through co-op, and I was saddened to learn many of the other shops had the girls stand and watch or sit in the office. We are in a new era. Girls should be allowed to participate as well.
Many of my seasoned technicians who have worked with me for 20 years were trade school graduates.
Maybe these shops are failing the kids!
Christine Lech-Goulart is owner of Lech Garage & Auto Body.
While I agree w Rick Kidder on the general substance of his remarks re the method and madness of the City Coucils referenda I disagree and have had both in Cambridge and New York a very different experience w Rent Control/Stabilization.As a student and after rent control allowed for affordable rent and space and allowed for the city to maintain a diverse population with different income levels.After rent control was narrowly defeated a real suburbs homeowner vs city renter vote the rents skyrocketed driving the diverse population out and cramming students into apts the only way they could pay the rent.Contrary to Rick Kidder and Mayor,Mitchell’s contention it DID NOT give incentive to builders to build mixed affordable housing just to CHARGE HIGHER RENT for existing housing!We can see the same pattern developing in the South Coast housing market.Rent control in New York allowed myself a Grad student at Fordham and my roomie an electrical worker to comfortably share a spacious apt which only increased 2 to 4%every other yr.This kept the neighborhood in the,Bronx diverse and affordable.As developers bought up more bldgs in Manhatten and,rich Russian oligarchs,and Chinese millionaires scooped them up the Mega rich moved in longtime residents were forced out.Mr Kidder and Mayor Mitchell there is no indication South Coasts housing experience will be different.If the South Coast and the Boston hub is,to attract and keep an educated and technical work while maintaining its,working class character the solution is rent control w govt subsidies to encourage new development and renovate older ones.To depend on the “goodwill” of developers is pure DreamWorks RENT CONTROL ON THE BALLOT LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE!
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