Automotive open house hosted for prospective students

Prospective students looking to enroll in the automotive program stand between senior students Kevin Conover (left) and Jeff Snyder (right), -Kate Dashiell

Kate Dashiell, Staff Writer


“Unless people stop driving, this is a good field to get into.” This is how Daniel Benoit, professor of automotive, manufacturing and electrical engineering technologies, described the automotive program at Hudson Valley. And he’s right. Graduates of the program have a 90 percent rate of employment. That is what the 200 students who are enrolled in Hudson Valley’s automotive department have the opportunity to experience.

Hudson Valley has three sub programs in its automotive department. They include the Generic ATS program, the auto body program and automotive management.

Students can be on track to graduate with degrees in their specific program after two years.

Hudson Valley has a relationship with SUNY Morrisville, where some students choose to transfer in order to complete a four year degree in automotive management.

However, several students experience little difficulty finding jobs after completing the two year program.

Ray Skiba, service manager at New County Motor Car Group, said, “Speaking as an employer, when I see people coming to me for a job who have graduated from Hudson Valley’s program, I know they’re credible.”

Skiba has recently hired Hudson Valley alumna, Siri Wing, as an office manager. Wing graduated from the program and was one of the few women enrolled.

Hudson Valley’s automotive department is well known for its established program, and as one of the only colleges that has its own auto body and technical repair shop, it has become a hotspot for aspiring students wanting to quickly get into the automotive business.

An open house was held Saturday, Apr. 5 for prospective students interested in this program.

Students roamed around the repair shop to get a feel for what it might be like to be a part of the program.

Faculty was there to answer to questions, as well as many local representatives from companies such as NaPa, H&V Collision and Toyota of Clifton Park.

The companies were able to let students know what to expect upon completing their degrees as far as finding a job and how much they can anticipate they will be making.

However, even before completion, many companies offer paid internships for students who are on track to graduate.

“The internships are useful because the students can start to build a relationship with a company, and that opens doors for full-time employment,” said Skiba.

Matt Fuller, Maple Hill High School student, will be in the program next fall.

“I’m extremely excited,” said Fuller. “I’m lucky to be going to a school that has such a great program for what I want to do. I know it will help me land a job.”

Students who are currently enrolled in the program were also present to offer advice and guidance.

“Hard work and dedication definitely pay off in this program. It sets you on a road for success,” said senior Jeff Snyder.

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