ROCHESTER — Seven students of Great Bay Community College graduated with an accomplishment not many can claim — they built a custom motorcycle that is now entered into a competition that could land them a trip to Milan, Italy.
They had some help in the build from the technicians of Rochester Harley-Davidson, but Kurt Dumond, service manager at the Rochester location and a program instructor at GBCC, said the build was “95 percent done by the students.”
The Great Bay Bobber is the name given to the bike “revealed” on Saturday at the Harley-Davidson Shop of Rochester. The name is a nod to an old-school motorcycle, with a GBCC flair. It is a beauty.
The students are the first graduating class of the new motorcycle mechanic/technician training program, begun in collaboration with Seacoast Motorcycles Inc, and Harley-Davidson.
“A couple of years ago, we came to realize that all our techs have to go to Texas or Florida to be trained,” said Arielle Andrews, marketing director for Seacoast Motorcycles Inc. “We looked at the cost of that, and the fact that many people we send down for training end up staying and working there,” said Andrews. “So, we partnered with Great Bay. They thought it was a good opportunity to add a new program for their students. We thought it was a great opportunity for us to begin building a workforce.”
The competition, the Battle of the Kings, is a world-wide contest to build a custom motorcycle. This year, Harley-Davidson decided to let their new students do the build.
“There are criteria,” said Andrews “They have to stay within a budget. The motorcycle, has to be something a customer would want, and will be for sale. When we posed it to the students, they were so excited, and got so passionate about the project. They worked on it with techs here who are their course instructors.”
Paul Giuiano, technical education director at GBCC said he thinks the project is a good one, for several reasons.
“It brings attention to the school and local business,” said Giuliano. “The hope is that programs like this will keep trained workforce in the state. Seacoast Harley is fully committed to making this collaboration work and it is. The graduating students from this program are coming out work ready.”
It was the students who did the work, and they are proud. As an added bonus, they had fun.
The lone woman in the class, Shawna Miller of Seabrook, was already an automobile mechanic when she entered the program.
“I love working on cars and this seemed a way to expand my knowledge,” said Miller. “My grandfather always said if it’s broke; fix it yourself. So I learned. My 3-year-old daughter Delilah prefers to play with my tools than with kid toys. As for the build; it was great. We all worked together, with no arguments. we were a team.”
“This program has been a great experience for me,” said Quinn MacVittie of Dover. “I learned so much and when they told us about this build, it was just cool. We brainstormed and had to come up with the design and we made it. It’s great for me as I want to go into the custom design industry.”
Wakefield resident Kevin Angell is a disabled veteran. He said the program gave him the team atmosphere and structure he has not had since he was in the military.
“And the bike is awesome,” said Angell. “I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”
Dumond said the bike was built over the winter, at the Rochester Harley-Davidson location, giving the students a chance to meet and work with their technicians.
To learn more about GBCC and this program, visit http://greatbay.edu/,
The Battle of the Kings is decided by popular vote. The staff of Harley-Davidson and the students who worked hard to build the bike are hoping all Seacoast residents, and their friends and families will go https://customkings.harley-davidson.com/en_US/. and cast their vote for the Great Bay Bobber.
Original Story: Seacoastonline – https://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20190113/new-gbcc-course-helps-students-identify-career-path