Monticello High SchoolSenior Christopher Hodges is utilizing CATEC Automotive Service Technology’s Zero-Block class and academic offerings to expand his personal business opportunities. Careful planning on his part has allowed Chris to attend CATEC to take all of his required classes for his senior year of high school and wrap up his academic day by mid-morning.
Chris attends CATEC’s Auto Service Tech class with Matt Richardson from 8:15 am-9:15 am each day with a select group of classmates, before other students are even in the building. This Zero-Block class was created to meet the needs of students who weren’t able to get in to Richardson’s waitlist-only classes during regular school hours. CATEC Director Stephanie Carter says, “The Zero-Block class is a solution to a very good problem to have. So many students want to attend our Auto Service Technology class that we came up with a creative solution to meet more students’ needs.” After Auto Service Tech class, Chris takes CATEC’s combined English 12 and Government class with Megan Panek and David Topper. By 10:15 am, he his academic requirements are met and he begins his workday for his lawncare business.
He has owned Chris’ Lawncare for the past seven years, starting the business with his father and within two years taking it over to run himself. This professional business includes paid employees, equipment purchases and maintenance, and taxes. He has purchased an equipment fleet that includes two business trucks, six lawnmowers, a snow plow, and an aerator. His business offers services including cutting grass, mulching, leaf removal, and aerating. During warmer months, leading up to Thanksgiving, he works daily after leaving CATEC. Once winter arrives, business slows down to working a couple of days a week. At that point, he is considering taking an auto service tech job shadow or internship.
Chris says he decided to take Auto Service Tech at CATEC because he likes working on vehicles and needs to maintain his own equipment. Mr. Richardson says he is a great student because he is “hard working, has perfect attendance, and is very knowledgeable.” Chris says the best part about taking Auto Service Tech and his academic classes at CATEC is “getting to do hands-on work and not have to sit in a classroom all day.” He plans to continue owning his lawncare business but may take a step back from daily work when he graduates. He hopes to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and work at a local automotive shop as his career.