The Smithers Secondary School (SSS) auto shop is getting some much needed extra support from the local business community with a unique fundraiser.
Evergreen Industrial is collecting dead automotive batteries, recycling the lead and donating the cash raised to the shop program.
Employees at Evergreen and students in the auto program are going around and picking up the old batteries. Some of the car dealerships and garages around town are also pitching in and area residents can also drop batteries off at Evergreen.
When Gavin Scorer, one of the shop teachers at SSS, approached Tyler Fester, one of the Evergreen owners about raising some funds, Fester said the company was happy to help out.
“It always looks like they don’t have enough money for the students, so it’s just a way to get more money for them and get batteries out of people’s fields and stuff as well,” he said.
Scorer has been very pleased with the initial results. The project has so far contributed $1,600 to the school.
“It’s very good because normally the budgets are actually quite small,” he said. “The problem with the auto shop is usually the parts are quite expensive and there’s usually a lot of specialized tools… so this has helped quite a bit this year.”
Having access to the parts, tools and software they need is essential for the future, he said.
“What this program allows us to do is offer more opportunities in the mechanics end of it, so that [students] can keep up to date with some of the equipment,” Scorer said, adding it helps local kids to stay competitive with their counterparts in larger centres such as Terrace in case they want to pursue automotive careers.
Ferster said he hopes it also might give local kids more incentive to pursue those careers locally.
“Any time a course has more money, they can make it a little more interesting for the kids and maybe they’ll be able to get a career out of it and the more successful it is here, maybe the better the chance they’ll come back,”
Anybody who has old batteries they would like to donate can drop them off at Evergreen Industrial or call the school to have them picked up.