By Steve Tawa

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — A job-training program based in North Camden, NJ today graduated its newest class of automotive technology workers.

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The nonprofit group Respond Inc. held graduation ceremonies for thirteen students who spent 21 weeks moving back and forth between a classroom and the computer-equipped training bays at the Sayre New Worker Job Development Center, on North 8th Street at Erie Street.

The students got the works:  automotive technology fundamentals, learning about engine repair, brakes, suspensions, steering, and electrical systems.

Some graduates reflected.  Geraldo Martinez, who had no experience or knowledge before he hit the garage, said, “Now I know how to basically strip an engine down bare and reinstall it back up.”

(Geraldo Martinez speaks at his graduation.  Photo by Steve Tawa)

(Geraldo Martinez speaks at his graduation. Photo by Steve Tawa)


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Another recent graduate, Darnell Huff, returned to say he’s following a positive road and wants to be the best that he can be.

“We all face issues coming from Camden City.  We’re not given a lot of opportunities,” he noted.

Now he’s a mechanic at a Jiffy Lube, and is lining up more work at a dealership.

Graduates also received auto repair tool boxes from the Haddonfield Rotary, so they can carry with them the tools of the trade.


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