Originally posted in the San Antonio Report. Click here to read the original article.

Shop technician Vaneza Zepeda (left) and Maria Mendez, lead technician, both worked as interns at Holt Cat before securing jobs there. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

Vaneza Zepeda credits her grandfather for where she is today: a massive machine shop on HOLT CAT’s 130-acre southeast campus filled with heavy equipment Zepeda helpsmaintain in her role as a shop technician.

Yet while a childhood spent at the knee of her grandfather Ausbeto Silva at his body shop may have sparked a love of all things automotive, it was a paid internship program at Southwest High School that led directly to Zepeda’s new career.

The program is an intensive one, beginning when students are high school juniors and ending, for those who make it through, with a job offer from Holt Cat after graduation. But it offers a model the Southwest Independent School District hopes more San Antonio companies will consider as they struggle to fill entry-level positions and develop employees who can rise through the ranks.


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