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PSU Students get half their tuition paid by Firestone. - KOAM TV 7

PSU Students get half their tuition paid by Firestone.

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 Preparing students for the job world is what technology training is all about.

And a scholarship program called the Firestone Pit Crew puts students in school and the workforce at the same time.

     Freshman Josh Nations  is getting hands on education at Pittsburg State university helping  conduct a diagnostic test on an suv. Freshman Jason Kiesow finishes an oil change. The two PSU automotive service tech students are getting half their tuition paid for by firestone.

Kiesow says the nearly seven thousand dollars helps, "I probably would have gone to community college , if i didn't have the firestone program so."

Both also work at Firestone stores at night or on weekends.

 Josh in both  Kansas City and Joplin

Josh says, " It's definitely an added bonus getting paid for school  while  you can go make money while you're in school."

To qualify for the scholarship both had to go through a trial work period with Firestone.

James says, " This started this  summer to see how they liked you, see if you  can actually work and knew what  you were talking about . Then they send you here. I mean you learn  all  the tricks of the trade here and then you use them on the weekends when you go to work. It's actually  cool to use your skills."

Josh says, "Working fifty to sixty  hours a week in a hot shop  really shows how much you want to do it and just how much you like going to work."

The students will spend two years in the PSU  program  getting their certifications then have an automatic job when they graduate.

Josh says, " I think having the job  through school and  then knowing for two more years , I at least  have a solid  job is a good guarantee I think."

And professors say that impacts attitudes toward classes.

Assistant Professor of Automotive Technology Steve Polley says, "If a student knows the goal in mind at the end of the program,  they're going to be much more driven in the program and much more focused."

Polley says it's a school to work program that he expects will double next year and could keep growing.

   The Firestone scholarship program pays up to seven thousand dollars of the students tuition. Currently students have been recruited from Kansas City area high school tech programs but  Polley says it could also apply to local students since there's a Firestone store in Joplin .
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