You won't see too many students skipping Jose Cruz's auto repair class. Not when your assignment involves power tools and old beat up junkers. "Better then reading books. You can work on what you like, fixing cars," says Ezequiel Vargas, student.
"How to fix dents, paint them, if it's too big we just weld them out, bondo it and paint it," says Enrique Esquivel, student.
It's the kind of education you can't get from a textbook. Instead, learning comes from doing. Sometimes on other student's cars, other times it's donations from the community.
"They learn how to pull dents, they learn how to put the bondo on the dent, they learn how to block it with the sandpapers and they learn how to put primer," says Jose Cruz, instructor.
And it's here students train for a career that could be in higher demand than most people think. "There will be a lot of openings, a lot of the old painters and technicians will be retiring, and we need to fill this pocket."
And the paycheck is better than most realize, anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 dollars a year. Enough to get the attention of quite a few students.
"It was different than what I thought we could make on this. So that's just more motivation to go at it."
After a semester students move into apprenticeships with local auto shops where they refine their craft. As for the class projects, they're sold at auctions with the proceeds going back into the program.
Cruz says the course has a more than 80% graduation rate, often times with students who struggle in traditional classrooms.