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Local Car Dealership Donates Vehicles to Puyallup High Auto Tech

Group photo of PHS Auto Tech Students and Staff and Toyota of Puyallup Leadership

Recently, the Puyallup High School (PHS) Auto Tech Program received a generous donation and classroom upgrade from the Toyota of Puyallup.

Leadership staff from the local auto dealership visited the PHS Auto Garage, surprising the Viking Student Mechanics with two vehicles for their classes: a 2012 Chevy Malibu and a Toyota RAV4. The students, who were recently working on cars with outdated auto technology, will now have the opportunity to get up-to-date, hands-on experience.

PHS Auto Tech Students checking out the new car for their class

Wayne Bridges, Toyota of Puyallup's Director of Technician Training and a PHS Auto Tech Advisory Board Member, also overlooks the dealership's on-the-job tech training program, giving an opportunity to those interested in becoming certified auto technicians. Along with emphasizing the significance of the students learning about modern auto technology, he mentioned it gives them a head start if they become interested in joining the program after graduation.

"It's really critical that they (students) learn about the new automobiles," Bridges said. "They need to be exposed to those types of systems, especially the safety features that are on newer cars with the collision-avoiding systems, anti-lock brakes, and traction control."

PHS Auto Tech Instructor Christian Tamiesie added, "Working on late model vehicles is very helpful because students that want to go in the field need experience on things that are relevant today rather than things that are 30 or 40 years old. It's going to be a huge benefit to the program to have these cars."

Toyota of Puyallup Owner Kerry Odeman talks to Puyallup High Auto Tech Class

Toyota of Puyallup Owner Kerry Odeman talks to Puyallup High Auto Tech Class


Toyota of Puyallup President & General Manager Kerry Odeman says she hopes meeting with the students will inspire them to join the auto job field, which offers different career pathways. 

"The automotive industry is lacking technicians right now," Odeman said. 

"For us to be able to give back this way to help them learn is paramount. Giving them new tools and modern vehicles so they can have hands-on learning for the autos of the future that they're going to be hopefully working on and pursuing careers in that field."

a PHS Auto Tech Student checking out one of the new cars for class.

PHS Auto Tech Student and 10th grade student Hunter Ihlen, who grew up watching his stepfather work on cars since he was 10, and wants to have a career in the auto industry doing restoration, understands the significance of getting hands-on exposure to modern vehicles. 

"Every car model is built differently," Ihlen said. "You get to see all different types of parts that go into them. Every car manufacturer is different, so it will help us see all the different types of cars."

PHS Auto Tech Student and 11th grade student Siena Fellhauer added "The newer technology in the cars that we are receiving will help us improve our knowledge on how they work and how we can repair them."

Thank you, Toyota of Puyallup, for giving our students a boost in the classroom!