Sunday, July 21, 2024

Wrenches to Wheels gears up for a visit at GISD


Workforce Solutions of Central Texas’ program, “Wrenches to Wheels: Building Bikes and Building Skills” will visit Gatesville Independent School District on Thursday, June 6 from 9 a.m.-noon.

Wrenches to Wheels is a unique summer initiative that aims to empower sixth and seventh grade students by providing them with the opportunity to build their own bikes under the guidance of industry professionals.

This year, Workforce Solutions of Central Texas has expanded its program with new partnerships, which include United Way of Central Texas and Baylor Scott & White McLane’s Children’s Medical Center.

The financial commitment from United Way of Central Texas will ensure that students will not only build bikes this year but will also have the opportunity to take them home as well.

Krista Easley, Coordinator for Trauma Injury Prevention and Outreach at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center said, “We are honored to partner with an initiative that meets a large spectrum of needs in the Central Texas community and focuses on a priority of Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center – preventing unintentional childhood injury.”

Throughout the process, students will develop problem-solving abilities as they overcome challenges such as attaching pedals and adjusting brakes. Additionally, students will gain mechanical skills, learn to use tools effectively, and develop a sense of independence and self-reliance through the completion of their own bicycle.

Students will be partnered with community leaders who will mentor them throughout the bike-building process, imparting valuable skills such as mechanical aptitude, attention to detail, and problem-solving.

“In today’s educational landscape, it is crucial for students to develop critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and a strong work ethic,” Charley Ayres, Director of Industry and Education Partnerships said. “The ‘Wrenches to Wheels’ program not only provides hands-on experience, but also fosters partnerships with industry professionals, giving students valuable insights into potential career paths.”

The involvement of industry leaders is a key aspect of the program’s success. Workforce Solutions of Central Texas collaborates with professionals in a field that allows students to benefit from their expertise, gain networking opportunities, and make connections within the community.

When students are finished with the bike-building phase, they will receive additional instruction on safe riding practices and the provision of bike helmets from Mclane Children’s Medical Center to enhance the educational aspect of the program.

There are various benefits for students when it comes to the program including hands-on bike building, problem-solving skills development, and ownership of the bikes they construct.

To qualify for the program, students must be enrolled in sixth or seventh grade, have no more than three discipline referrals, and maintain good attendance. In addition, students participating in Federal Assistance Programs or identified as homeless, migrant, runaway, or foster children are encouraged to apply.

According to, “Building a bike not only offers a rewarding experience, but also imparts valuable lessons and skills that can benefit students in various aspects of their lives.”