TCS Automotive Program
In September 2013, John Robison's dream of starting an automotive vocational program for youth on the autism spectrum came true.
As someone with autism himself, John knew firsthand that many programs weren't supporting autistic youth to learn and succeed, and he wanted to offer an alternative. Through a partnership between Robison Service Center and NCYF's Tri-County Schools (TCS), NCYF's Automotive Program was born.
Students in the program gain both hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge in a real working shop environment. They learn the technical skills needed to maintain vehicles, as well as the social skills to succeed in the workforce. Class sizes are small and students receive a lot of individual attention.
Shop classes are taught at the TCS Auto Program campus at Robison Service Center in Springfield, MA and academic courses are held at the TCS campus in Easthampton, MA.
Within 3 months of the program, students gain experience in:
- Inspections - brakes, lights, emissions, and safety
- Light maintenance - oil changes, tire rotation, brakes
- Service/repair order write-ups
- Parts ordering/management
- Online repair information and specifications research
- Online service history research
Students learn specific skills that help prepare them for the workforce, including:
- Shop safety and use of tools
- Environmentally sound practices
- Vehicle safety inspections
- Vehicle maintenance and repair
- Small engine maintenance and repair
- Auto detailing
- Writing service/work orders
- Retail and parts management
- Customer service
Opportunities available for students in the program:
- Weekly visits to commercial shops
- Paid apprenticeships/internships in the Robison Service Center and other local businesses.
- Work/study opportunities
- Study for drivers permit/license
- Assistance with job placement
Graduates from the program can expect to:
- Receive assistance with job placement and/or college transition.
- Typically, earn a regular diploma from their referring school district, as well as a certificate from the TCS Automotive Program and credit toward Automotive Service Excellence (A.S.E.) certification.
- Leave with a starter tool kit, work boots, and safety glasses
The program is open to any 10th, 11th or 12th grader at Tri-County Schools with an interest in the field.
For more information or to refer a child, please contact our central intake coordinator.
Contact Person: Meredith Lagoy, LICSW
Associated Program: Tri-County Schools