In today’s society, where everywhere we turn, there is always something going on when we turn on the TV. And as we all know, 2020 has been one heck of a year, and it seems like nothing good is going on. So, when you find a “feel good” type story, it is nice to see someone doing something a bit different to bring a little light to the darkness we have been living in. A small act to make themselves stand out from everyone else. There is rarely ever any good news lately, so when I read through different websites in search of something “good” to hear, I ran across a story that takes place in Massachusetts.
In light of the death of George Floyd and the massive protests throughout the country, dealer owner Todd Copeland is implementing a new program in hopes of making a small change in his own community. The Copeland Auto Group is starting an internship program that is made available to students and recent graduates at the local high school. They will accept two students per semester, and these students will be able to rotate among the 3 Copeland dealerships. Oh, and did I mention these internships are paid? Copeland is hoping this program will help instill real-life experiences and hands-on job skills to teenagers in his town. The programs will teach different automotive business areas, from working with banks to working in the BDC department. These internships will allow students to gain critical job skills. He also hopes this will show others that there is more to the automotive business than just “selling cars.” The end hope is to eventually hire them full time down the road, create a lasting working relationship, and to have a way to give back to the community.
A program like this is beneficial depending on the amount of exposure and the experience the intern receives during this program. At one of my previous dealerships years ago, we did have an intern with us for a semester. Unfortunately, his experience was limited, and the manager in charge did not really teach him anything, and he left soon after. I do remember having conversations with him, and he was eager to learn more, and I was just starting the business myself, but the program was not clearly defined from the beginning, and it did not work out. If there is a set “structure,” and if you are actually teaching these students core job skills, I think this can be an exciting opportunity to learn about the real world. Now, I’m not a parent, so I cannot speak to what is currently being taught in schools, but if there were courses made available that touches on “life after graduation,” I think it would be useful. (Who knew at 15 years old, I would need to understand how to do my own taxes later on in life?) Either way, it’s always nice to read about someone doing something different; it gives us all a break from everything else going on today.