FONTANA, CA – A.B. Miller High School students took turns sitting behind the wheel of a classic 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, a replica of Doc Brown’s time machine from the movie “Back to the Future,” one of over a dozen eye-catching cars and trucks on display during an auto tech fair held on Dec. 11.

The cars – which included a fully restored 1965 Ford Falcon and a Mazda R-100 drag racer, as well as electric and hybrid vehicles – were provided by Prime Motivations, which partnered with Chaffey College to bring awareness to lucrative careers in the auto tech industry that can be achieved without a four-year university degree.

“Automotive technology is the second largest industry in the world today,” Prime Motivation marketing director Bill Montgomery said. “Our mission is to create interest in this job market, establish a pipeline to technical training at community colleges and restoring auto tech curriculum in high schools.”

A.B. Miller freshmen attended a college and career seminar where auto tech professionals and educators from Chaffey College, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and the Inland Empire/Desert Regional Consortium of community colleges spoke about career technical education (CTE) opportunities.

Outside, students raced to see who could install spark plugs into a cylinder head the fastest, part of a hands-on experience that A.B. Miller auto tech teacher Tony Alvarado says is motivating his students to consider mechanic jobs.

“We have A.B. Miller students and graduates working at every car dealership in Fontana,” Alvarado said. “We also have alumni who now work as wheel mechanics for the armed forces, and many of them helped provide disaster relief for victims of the hurricanes in Texas and Florida.”

A.B. Miller students can also receive Chaffey College credit if they score an A or B on a Chaffey auto technology certification exam, through Chaffey’s High School Partnership program.

“This program has taught me that you can pretty much do anything yourself,” senior Andrew Figueroa said. “We get hands-on experience, but we also get bookwork done. So we get the knowledge and the physical part of it too.”

To keep the program up to date with the rapidly expanding auto technology innovations, the school meets twice a year with car dealers and industry professionals for articulation meetings, where they advise teachers about the skills students will need to successfully compete for auto tech jobs.

“Fontana is committed to providing opportunities for personal and professional achievement, whether they be achieved through higher education or through technical careers,” FUSD Superintendent Randal Bassett said. “Through our career and technical education programs, college preparatory curriculum and partnerships with local colleges, businesses and organizations, we are ensuring every student has the tools to realize their own vision of success.”


121817_FUSD_AUTO1: A.B. Miller High School students see how fast they can install spark plugs in a cylinder head during an auto tech fair on Dec. 11. The fair, offered through a partnership with Chaffey College and Prime Motivation, provided students with a look at career opportunities available in the auto tech industry.

121817_FUSD_AUTO2: A.B. Miller High School students examine a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 – a replica of Doc Brown’s time machine from the movie “Back to the Future” – on display during the school’s auto tech fair on Dec. 11.