Brad Warren, Career Center East, Lewisville, Texas
Upon retiring from the United States Air Force after 21 years, Brad Warren says that it was a “natural transition” for him to become an educator. For the last eight years, Warren has been teaching automotive technology; the last two of which have been at Career Center East in Lewisville, Texas. Warren attributes his decision to work in automotive technology to a teacher that was instrumental in his own drive to own an automotive shop as a young man. It only seemed natural to let that education come full circle. When asked about how he creates an active learning environment, he explains, “There is a lot of hands-on learning in my class. The kids are working on their own personal cars, and that really motivates them.”
When working in the automotive workshop, Warren says that safety is the number one rule for him and his students. Incorporating OSHA safety training into his classes was an easy decision Warren says. “I like the fact that it’s a lifetime [credential], and not just for the automotive industry but across more than one field,” he continues. With OSHA training, his students have exposure not only to just automotive safety but also safety training across many topics to ensure that Warren’s students have credentialing that can benefit them in whatever career they choose.
Warren requires that his students complete and pass the CareerSafe OSHA 10-Hour General Industry safety training prior to entering the shop. “I front-load our curriculum at the beginning with safety training,” Warren explains, “Safety has been engrained in me since the military and it’s something I want to instill in my students.” In addition to CareerSafe OSHA 10-Hour safety training, his students also complete the CDX online automotive training curriculum and various optional OSHA training.
OSHA training has proved successful for Warren’s students. “One of my students received a $1.75 an hour increase at Whataburger for having the OSHA credential while still in high school,” he explains. After high school, Warren reveals that his students have continued on to secure employment over other potential employees for already having an OSHA 10-Hour credential. Over all else, Warren says that the best thing about being a career and technical education teacher, is having his students return after a few years with a success career, not just a job.