Essex Tech NightHawks Program Partners with Kelly Automotive for Networking Event

Monday July 19, 2021

HATHORNE – Recent graduates of Essex Tech’s Adult Education Automotive Technician training program have already made strong industry connections thanks to a recent networking event.

Kelly Automotive invited a class of approximately 10 adult students to the Kelly Volkswagen dealership at 72 Andover St. (Route 114) in Danvers recently, where students participated in a meet and greet with managers from a handful of area dealerships. Students brought their resumes and certifications, and many of the attending managers are actively seeking qualified applicants for open positions. Also at the event were Essex Tech Director of Workforce Development Bonnie Carr and MassHire North Shore Career Center Employment Specialist Malina Chhan, who have worked closely to identify job opportunities for students in alignment with the mission of the state’s Career Technical Initiative (CTI).

“This was a tremendously kind gesture by Kelly Automotive, and I think it speaks to the need for skilled employees in this industry, in our area,” Superintendent Heidi Riccio said. “Through our NightHawks Adult Education program, we’re able to train students and set them on a path for a career that will offer them a stable, living wage with room to grow. It’s partnerships like this that really exemplify what career and technical education, paired with meaningful community partnerships, can do.”

Some of the students were hired by Kelly Automotive following the event.

“We’ve worked with vocational and technical programs over the course of time. We find that it is good for the students and it’s also helpful for us; we get to meet people interested in becoming automotive technicians,” said Kelly Automotive Chief Executive Officer Brian Heney. “We talk to them about what we have to offer, our company and their career choice. Our President Brian Kelly is a vocational school graduate, and he has a soft spot for supporting students just entering the field.”

Students in the NightHawks Auto Technician Program have the opportunity to earn the following certifications and credentials: 14 SP2 Safety Certifications, Hotworks, OSHA-10, and Ford Asset Training Certificates. The most recent offering of the 15 week course began in February and finished today.

This spring’s offering of the adult automotive technician program was made possible thanks to grant funding through the Baker-Polito Administration’s Career Technical Initiative. Essex Tech received a $240,000 CTI Round 1 grant from the state, to prepare unemployed and underemployed adults for automotive services technicians, HVAC, plumbing and construction craft labor positions. Through the initiative, Essex Tech has partnered with MassHire North Shore Career Center to identify job opportunities for students with area businesses, companies and the Local 22 Laborers’ Union. Additional training programs funded through this initiative will begin in September. Classes will be posted in mid July and students will be able register by visiting:

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