PEACH COUNTY, Ga. — The Peach County School District is teaming up with Blue Bird to provide a technical certificate program for students in bus maintenance and manufacturing jobs.
"We have been developing the technician certification itself for the better part of a year and a half," said Blue Bird Learning Technology Supervisor, Nathan Bateman.
Bateman used to be a teacher, and helped create the one-year course on bus maintenance and manufacturing.
"It's over 30 modules with tons and tons of Blue Bird topics, from chassis to body, to some basic power train stuff, [and] reading and wiring schematics," he said.
James Lassetter, the school district's Career, Technical and Agricultural Director, says junior and senior students in their advanced automotive pathway will be able to take the course.
"It's just a little bit more added to our curriculum, but not a big deal. We already cover a lot of the stuff, it just makes it a little different because this is dealing with buses," Lassetter said.
"It'll be Associate Certified Blue Bird Technician, which is the first level of competence that says, 'I am certified to turn a wrench on a Blue Bird bus,'" Bateman said.
Students could apply to entry-level maintenance jobs, like being a line worker, right after they graduate.
"Anybody who's got a Blue Bird bus... our students are going to be able to walk in there and be an entry-level tech," said Lassetter.
Bateman says entry-level line workers usually start out making about $13 an hour. Blue Bird is also offering a $2,500 scholarship to an automotive pathway student who wants to further their manufacturing education.
Peach County High's automotive students will be able to take the course starting fall 2021.