For more than 17 years, Kurt Petschow, Jr., owner of Cranford Conoco and Centennial Avenue Service Center, has shared his passion for the automotive industry with Union County Vocational-Technical Schools (UCVTS) students. He has mentored, employed and advanced more than 50 students from the UCVTS’ Automotive Technology program. And he has impacted many more through his participation on the Automotive Technology Advisory Board and in the annual career day.
In recognition of his consistent donation of time, materials, knowledge, values and skills to the Automotive Technology program and its students, UCVTS named Petschow and Cranford Conoco and Centennial Service Center as the 2023 Business Partner of the Year.
District administrators and instructors have especially appreciated Petschow’s willingness over the years to answer the students’ questions and educate them about the real expectations for anyone entering the automotive business. They say he even engages in “on the spot” mentoring when he recognizes a student shares his passion for the industry. This mentoring continues when students travel to Cranford Conoco and Centennial Service Center to grow their technical skills through work-based learning or even to start a career.
“The Union County Vocational-Technical Schools is enormously grateful to Cranford Conoco and Centennial Service Center for their willingness to provide invaluable learning opportunities to students who attend our Automotive Technology program,” said Gwendolyn Ryan, UCVTS superintendent. “As a district, we have benefited from this partnership and their commitment to the automotive industry in many important ways, for more than 17 years. It is our honor to recognize Cranford Conoco and Centennial Service Center as the UCVTS 2023 Business Partner of the Year!”
Petschow is also involved with the community. He is the Cranford Board of Education President, a member of Cranford’s Chamber of Commerce and a board member for Cranford’s Baseball and Softball League. UCVTS administrators say this reflects his genuine commitment to mentoring young people with the hopes to “bring out their best.” UCVTS is proud and lucky to be on the receiving end of Petschow’s genuine investment in the next generation.