My name is Torg Sahlman. I am the Auto Shop Instructor at Arcata High School as well as McKinleyville High.
I graduated from CR in 1990 with my AS degree in Automotive Technology. After working on automobiles here in Humboldt County since 1990, I realized I wanted to instruct students on how to get them job skills and prepare them for workforce preparation. I was given the opportunity to be an auto shop instructor by being hired by The Humboldt County Office of Education in their regional workforce preparation program in 2008. I was instructing at the Eureka High School campus, while taking the BTSA classes to clear my preliminary teaching credential, single subject, in the transportation sector. We had a full time auto program and an afterschool ASE Auto Academy in which was set up to act like a live auto shop: we received work from the community and the students would keep track of their time on a vehicle, wrote repair orders, diagnosed the vehicle’s concern, they ordered parts to be delivered to the shop. The students would perform the repair and we would collect the money. Students received experience in job skills as well as getting ready for the job field. It was great. Once the program was closed in 2013, I returned to being an auto tech once again. This last year I was offered a job to instruct once again at MHS and AHS. I would like to instruct students in job skills as well as how they can be good employable people once they are out in the workforce.
I also believe that not everyone is going to choose this field, so the take away from the classes is how to be an employable person, how to be independent about your automobile, how to take this knowledge and become a service writer, a parts person , automotive collision repair technician, or to just be able to decipher what the service writer is telling you about the repairs that need to be done on your automobile.