As you may know, a portion of Dwell's Warehouse facility (620 Oakland Park Drive, 43214) has been renovated to accommodate HireLevel Auto, a ministry to give teens real life experience with auto repair and sales. After COVID-related delays, the ministry is now able to offer its basic repair class, with a mix of students from Akili Christian High School, Harambee Christian School, Central Ohio Youth for Christ, and other interested students.
The class not only teaches students useful skills but also opens the door to a potential career path, creates a vision for their future, and even connects them with caring volunteers to help them progress spiritually.
The program has existed for several years at Youth for Christ’s City Life Center on the west side, but space was very limited, especially with current COVID requirements. The new Warehouse facility offers 8000 square feet of well-ventilated space, with students and volunteers wearing masks, keeping their distance, and working in smaller groups during the class.
Luke’s Automotive helps oversee the HireLevel Auto program, and Evan Van Dromme with Luke’s says the class offers a basic understanding of how cars work and how to service them. “It gives students who may not otherwise have the opportunity, some real-world skills. They learn to work with tools and they learn how to do the basics on their own car or someone else's.”
Beyond helping them learn basic mechanical skills, class volunteers also nurture relationships with the students. “The connection between trainer and student offers a bridge to share the love of Christ through service and relationship. As God allows, we hope to share the gospel and connect them to outlets to help them pursue any spiritual interest they have.”
And he says, for some, the class is a gateway to addressing their vocational needs. Evan says if they enjoy this basic class, it empowers them to consider the trades as a possible career. “We want to show students a pathway for a stable career in the automotive industry and help them into a career that will allow them to support themselves, families, and battle a cycle of poverty.”
Through the class, HireLevel can assess students for their interest and mechanical aptitude to potentially recruit them for more advanced training. “Our hope is to open up an advanced class, covering skills like diagnostic and other sorts of repairs, as well as provide connections to dealers, small shops, and chains across the city who are offering internships, entry-level jobs, and further training.”
HireLevel is looking for more volunteers to work with students. It’s about a 2-hour commitment for 6 weeks, and they will train you on it. If you’re interested, contact Evan at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also learn more about the program and its financial needs at wheelstradecenter.com.