A new piece of high-tech equipment has arrived at Portage Collegiate Institute for its autoshop classes. 

Vice Principal Rob Pehura outlines what it is and how it came about.

"Well, basically, what we were able to get through a grant through the province was a tire alignment machine," says Pehura. "It's used to align tires on vehicles, but it's a piece of equipment that really prepares our kids for outside work when they graduate from here because it's a pretty high tech piece of equipment. The kids get a real ample opportunity to work with hands-on stuff with the latest technology that's out there."

He explains when they get out into the workforce, no matter where they go, if there's a tire alignment machine, they're going to know how it works. 

"And probably be able to show some of the other people that they're working with a couple of things, as well," continues Pehura. "We did have an older version, but it's starting to malfunction a little bit. It's on its last legs, so this is going to replace that, and it's going to keep the kids up to date. This technology changes really fast in the auto industry. So, having a piece of machinery like this really benefits the kids, the staff and just the school."

Pehura says it's all funded through a grant.

"The province of Manitoba hands out about $1.5 million every year to about both 30-35 schools in the province," adds Pehura. "This one ran the tag on runs about $27,000 after all the taxes and shipping. So, it's a pretty big investment because, for the schools to be able to buy machinery like this, it's really expensive. Like anything, things like that break-down. So, it's nice to have something new that's going to last us about 10 years."

He says it will hopefully be installed shortly.

"Hopefully it gets installed next week," says Pehura. "It's been sitting here for a little bit. But we can't do anything about that. With all the things related to COVID, we had a real hard time getting it here because it sat in a shipping container in Winnipeg for about a month and a half. I'm just really happy that it's here. Our guys down in the shop have three really good instructors that care about the kids. They care about the program and they love having equipment like this, and for them to be able to use it and show the kids the latest technology. It kind of puts them in the lead in the province because like a lot of people when we bring people in through our automotive shop here from various school divisions. They're just astonished with how orderly it is. The stuff that we have, how clean it is and just how everything is broken down so it is a nice model for the rest of the province." 

The equipment came in last week.