Spotlight On Women In The Skilled Trades

Capital Region BOCES Diesel Tech program alum Victoria Carl, who has long hair and is wearing eyeglasses, a black hoodie and black protective face covering, stands alongside the sign for Carl's Advanced Automotive and Truck Repair Center and smiles for the camera.
Diesel Tech grad Victoria Carl says the opportunity to spread her wings and learn the business of diesel mechanics through our Career and Technical School program has brought her to where she is now—owner of Carl’s Advanced Automotive & Truck Repair Center.

March is Women’s History Month and we’re shining a spotlight on women in the trades – those who are challenging gender stereotypes and building solid futures through their time at Capital Region BOCES.

From BOCES graduate to business owner in just three years—that’s been the path for 2017 Diesel Tech program graduate Victoria Carl.

“BOCES is where I really found my passion. I always worked on cars, but BOCES is where I got into trucks and gained knowledge and really solidified what I wanted to do,” Carl said.

Carl said the sprint from high school graduate to business owner has been an amazing journey.

“Right after I graduated, I went to UNOH (University of Northwest Ohio) and got dual associate degrees in agricultural diesel technology and diesel tech. I actually worked on a farm there milking cows every day,” Carl said. “I finished the two-year programs in a year-and-a-half and came back home where I had a lot of different job offers lined up. Jackie from Albany Truck Sales had been in contact with me basically ever since I started at BOCES and I just had to go with her.”

Albany Truck Sales is one of many area businesses that partner with our Career and Technical School. Learn more about our business partners and how they support our students’ through work-based learning opportunities.

In 2020, a local auto repair business in Carl’s home town of Voorheesville, NY was up for sale. Carl knew it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up and she became a co-owner with her mother of what is now Carl’s Advanced Automotive & Truck Repair Center.

“We jumped on it – it was something I couldn’t turn down,” Carl said.

Carl will soon be adding a high performance engine and detailing shop across the street. She has tapped her brother to run the day to day operation of this new venture.

“A rarity in the world of big rig repair”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, fewer than one percent of the 339,000 diesel mechanics employed nationally are women. Even fewer women own their own businesses.

“[Victoria] is a rarity in the world of big rig repair,” said Career and Technical School Diesel Tech teacher Sam Frink.

BOCES Business Liaison Nancy Liddle agrees: “Victoria was a great student who is very motivated.” 

Tools of the trade and a chance to spread her wings

Carl said the opportunity to spread her wings and learn the business of diesel mechanics at BOCES has brought her to where she is now and is influencing what she has planned for her future business growth.

“BOCES meant everything to me. I found my passion there and a lot of my business partners I met at BOCES and I work with,” she said.

Learn about our Career and Technical Education program

Recruitment for the  2021-22 school year is now underway. Learn more and take a virtual tour of Diesel Tech and the 40+ programs offered through our Career and Technical School