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AYES Mentor/Intern Training Program Summary

The following provides an overview of the Automotive Youth Educational System (AYES) summer internship experience.


The purpose of the summer internship experience is to assist in the development of career-ready, entry-level automotive technicians and automotive service personnel. High school automotive technology students are presented the opportunity and guidance to explore rewarding automotive careers and are provided with the tools and support to learn, develop, and practice the technical, academic, and employability skills needed for success. The capstone of the AYES model is a 320-hour workplace internship, usually during the summer between the junior and senior year of high school, where students, working alongside a trained and qualified mentor, are prepared for entry-level career positions or advanced studies in automotive technology. Students can also earn the age and rank appropriate credentials both industry and education seek for accountability.


The summer internship experience includes a two day course designed to introduce student interns to their automotive dealership or automotive repair facility mentors. A mentor is defined as an experienced journeyman service technician (usually an ASE-certified Master Technician) employed by an automotive dealership or automotive repair facility. All mentors are encouraged to participate in the “Train the Trainer” training course which is offered every summer. Qualifying students are recommended by their high school automotive instructor, are enrolled in NATEF-accredited automotive service and collision repair programs, participate in SkillsUSA, are required to be in good standing with their school district, and are in line to graduate with their class. Parental permission is also required.

Training sessions include lectures, video learning, hands-on activities that include group discussions, and structured exercises. AYES trained facilitators lead the group through the selected exercises and activities. The California Department of Education’s Career Technical Education Leadership and Instructional Support Office staff assist the schools in providing this training as needed. Student interns and mentors are trained individually at first and then are assembled to work together as they would in the fully functioning automotive repair facility.

During the internship program, selected students may receive a toolbox and tools valued at over $2,000 and have the opportunity to “earn while they learn”. Many of these students are hired by their sponsoring automotive dealership to continue working in their field of study after they graduate from high school. Students also have the opportunity to continue their automotive training at local colleges and manufacturing programs.

Desired Outcomes

Student interns have been trained to work in a team environment, have gained a basic knowledge of the day to day operations of an automotive repair facility, have been prepared for entry-level career positions, and have been made aware of the opportunities for advance studies in the transportation sector. Students are also encouraged to share their learning experience with their peers.


Student interns may be paid during their internship. Students are responsible for transportation to and from the work site, clothing and personal safety equipment, and meals. The sponsoring automotive dealership or employer is responsible for any agreed upon compensation.

Students Served

The number of students served varies based on the number of participating schools, automotive dealerships or automotive repair facilities, and qualified student interns. Typically, each year approximately 120 students statewide participate in the AYES summer internship experience.


Relationships built through the summer intern experience are long lasting as many student interns have gone on to be valuable employees at their sponsored automotive dealerships or automotive repair facilities as an apprentice automotive technician. Many participating employers continue to sponsor AYES Graduates’ attendance at college-level programs including those supported by vehicle manufacturers. Selected graduating students are accepted into specific manufacturer automotive training programs such as Ford ASSET, General Motors ASEP, Toyota T-TEN, DaimlerChrysler CAP and, Honda PACT.

Students have also gone on to participate in job shadowing, skill competitions, community service, and leadership roles and activities all to become productive members of a world-class workforce.

Contact Information

The Automotive Youth Educational Systems Mentor/Intern Training Program is administered by:

Robert Wilson, Education Programs Consultant

Career Technical Education Leadership and Instructional Support Office
Career and College Transition Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814

Questions: Robert Wilson | | 916-319-0675 
Last Reviewed: Friday, September 23, 2016
Recently Posted in Career Technical Education