APTA | Passenger Transport
November 8, 2010

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IndyGo Internship Helps Drive Studentís Career Path

Antez Burgess started his freshman year at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, IN, heading down a road of vocational uncertainty. But thanks to the school’s Career Technology Magnet program, he found himself driven by the idea of becoming a truck and diesel technician—a career path further solidified by an internship at IndyGo.

Tim Anderson, the truck and diesel technology instructor at Arsenal Technical High School, described the Career Technology Magnet as a three-year program that starts during a student’s sophomore year. “It’s a great vocational program for kids who may not be interested in, or can’t afford, going to a four-year college. It teaches them hands-on skills that springboard them into the world of work,” he said.

As part of the school program, students are encouraged to get involved in summer internships and co-op programs. Burgess was able to secure his eight-week summer internship at IndyGo thanks to the support of agency staff, Navistar International’s Truck and Diesel Engine Program, and a monthly stipend from the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials.

While at IndyGo, Burgess worked alongside seasoned mechanics, learning about engine repair, transmissions, shocks, brakes, and welding. “He was a good kid who was eager to learn. I miss having him around now that he is back in school,” said Will Smith, an engine repair mechanic and 31-year IndyGo employee. “Anytime you can help kids, it’s cool.”

Burgess—who takes an IndyGo bus to school each day—called his internship at the system a valuable learning experience. “It was an opportunity that made me stronger and more confident in my abilities,” he said. “I now know for sure that I want to be a diesel technician in the future. I believe this internship gave me the tools that will greatly increase my chances of gaining full-time employment after graduation.”

The IndyGo staff was so impressed with Burgess’s work ethic and job performance that they have invited him back for a co-op opportunity during his school’s second semester.

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