VALHALLA, N.Y. – The Southern Westchester BOCES' Center for Career Services teamed up with classic car club “Rock ‘n Rods NY” to put on its first annual auto show while also advertising the school’s campus on Sunday afternoon.
“Our auto guys got together and they decided they really wanted to showcase what we do here,” said Linda Suarez, who is the director of career services. “So we were really looking for a draw and someone came up with the idea for an auto show.”
The show featured cars of all kinds from vintage Pontiac GTO’s to new Mustangs lining the front road of the campus. The garages were also open to the public to give visitors a look at what kind of work students are doing up at the school.
“This is really what we want to do, we want to show that were working with the communities that this is what our trade programs are about,” Suarez said. “We integrate our highly trained students back into the community.”
The school provides career training for students in grades nine through 12 in fields like culinary, cosmetology, automobile work, construction, graphic arts and others.
“A lot of our programs lead to New York State licenses where they can walk out of here and they’re immediately employed,” Suarez said.
With dozens of classic cars polished and on display, locals walked up and down the campus to get a view of vehicles of all the different eras.
“I think it’s great, the number of cars far exceeded what I thought was going to be here,” said Joe Wooley, a board member of the Southern Westchester BOCES. “It gets people up here to see the tech center to see what the kids do up here and quite frankly for the kids to see what’s possible out there.”
Many described the event as a win-win situation as it was a free show for the public that provided entertainment while also giving people a look inside the school.
“It definitely gives the BOCES an opportunity to showcase the campus because the intent was to have the car show which is one of our big programs here, auto body, anything to do with auto mechanics they teach the students,” said Steve Tibbetts, assistant superintendent for business.