Guest Post By CeCe Todd, East Valley Institute of Technology
Since completing the EVIT Automotive program eight years ago, Brett Rudin’s life took an unexpected turn, but his passion for cars and skills he learned at the East Valley Institute of Technology kept him determined to land his dream job at a Mercedes-Benz dealership.
“EVIT changed my life in every way,” said Rudin, 26, who completed the automotive program and graduated from Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain High School in 2012. “I was just a car buff who read statistics and watched videos. I went into class the first day not knowing what a socket was. After applying myself and learning what I love, it’s a whole different scenario. Now I’m working on the most technologically advanced cars on the road — Mercedes-Benz.”
His path has been a challenging one. Not long after leaving EVIT and starting his first job at an Acura dealership, Rudin was in a car accident that severely injured his foot. After two years of setbacks and surgeries, his leg was put in a carbon brace that allowed him not only to work as an auto technician, but to walk. “I have to work in different ways than everyone else with the brace…but it allows me to work and live a life that was, for a while, taken away from me.”
The grit, heart and drive that Rudin exemplifies can be found in many students who take one to two years of career training at EVIT while also attending high school. During their junior and senior years, they balance a half-day of high school with a half-day of training at EVIT.
“For anyone interested in EVIT, the three words that come to my mind are: It’s worth it,” Rudin said. “Trade jobs are always in demand and for others who are as passionate as myself about what they do, you can make a very good life while doing something you love.”
EVIT offers over 40 different career training programs tuition-free for public, charter, home-schooled and private high school students who reside in 11 East Valley school districts. Tuition-based programs for adults are also offered, with financial aid available in some programs.
Every EVIT program is built around hands-on training. The Automotive program includes job shadowing and internships as well as the hands-on work the students do every day in EVIT’s large auto bays.
“I’m a hands-on learner, so being able to be a part of the experience translated very well in having an advantage over other possible hires when applying to jobs,” Rudin said.
At his first job, Rudin started out cleaning cars, moving them and doing maintenance. Now, as a line technician at Mercedes-Benz of North Scottsdale, his duties include diagnosing complex system issues, as well as basic services and more. He specializes in inner dashboard work and gutting the insides of cars.
He credits EVIT with turning an avid interest into a career he loves. “I’ve always been into cars,” he said. “But before EVIT, I didn’t even know about rachets and sockets, so EVIT built me from the ground up.”
EVIT students have a 98% high school graduation rate and 2 out of 3 go on to college. Within a year of completing their program, 94 percent are in jobs related to their training, college or the military. Enroll here.
Brett’s Career Path:
- Learned about EVIT as high school freshman
- Took two years of automotive training at EVIT
- Completed automotive program in 2012
- Worked for Acura dealership
- Overcame severe foot injury
- Works as a line technician at Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale