|Lorenzo Hernandez served as a Mechanic Intern at|
the Garden City district shop last summer.
Transitioning from the classroom to the workforce can be difficult for some students. While they have the knowledge and instruction to do a job, the workforce requires initiative, responsibility and problem solving that they may not have been able to practice in the classroom. But Garden City native Lorenzo Hernandez doesn’t expect that to be an issue when he graduates from Northwest Kansas Technical College in May.
Hernandez served as a Mechanic Intern at the Garden City district shop last summer, and he returned over Christmas break to get a little more experience before returning to school for his final semester.
According to Hernandez, his time as intern was especially beneficial in helping him take what he learned in college and applying it in the shop.
“At college, we review in the classroom and go to the lab to diagnose and work on a problem, but we have to wait for the instructor to do things," Hernandez said. "Here, they tell me what to do and I have a mentor to help me, but I really learned how things work in a shop.”
KDOT’s Equipment Mechanic Internship program began in 2015 and is designed to help students enrolled in agricultural, diesel and heavy equipment technical programs across the state be better prepared to compete for permanent positions with KDOT.
Interns are expected to perform normal mechanic duties based on their knowledge and capabilities and are paired with a mentor who is responsible for helping train and supervisor them during their internship.
“The program benefits students by helping them get the hands-on experience they need, but also benefits KDOT by helping the agency recruit, train and hire individuals who can contribute to a productive, skilled and diverse work environment," said Jeff Tice, KDOT Assistant Equipment Manager in Topeka.
Tice serves as the point of contact for interested schools and instructors and coordinates with each KDOT District to place students.
Hernandez says he has enjoyed his time at KDOT, especially working with the guys in the shop and says he would do it again.
“You get to see and experience so much here from brand new pick-ups, to tractors, mowers and forklifts,” Hernandez said.
If you know a student that might be interested in an internship at KDOT, contact Jeff Tice at 785-296-5942 or firstname.lastname@example.org.