A new twist on high school shop class

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Thursday, July 13, 2006
By Yokota Fritz

Remember shop class in high school, where you learned those useful vocational skills? Harbor High School in bike-crazy Santa Cruz, California will offer a bicycle shop class. Part auto shop and part drivers’ education, teenagers will learn repair and maintenance skills, road safety and how to protect their bikes from thieves.

Berri Michel, owner of Bicycle Trip Shop and developer of the class, hopes the new class will provide a pool of mechanics for the bike industry in Santa Cruz County. The Santa Cruz County Bicycle Industry Coalition said there are more than 500 bike industry jobs in the county.

"There’s a shortage of bike mechanics," Michel said. "If kids could learn before they come in, there’s a lot of opportunity. The rest of the industry takes from bike shops for design, research and development, manufacturing."

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