Auto repair

A Skamania County nonprofit strives to bring practical auto repair skills to teens in the community

SKAMANIA COUNTY, WA. (KPTV) – A local non-profit organization in Skamania County has set out to provide educational opportunities for teens and adults, allowing them to learn practical skills in the automotive world.

Skamania County Knucklebusters Association, a space built by community members for the community, or as the organization’s president, Glen Bell likes to say, “teaching teenagers to turn a key.”

“We really serve the students and children who are here in Skamania County. A lot of low income people will come here and we will work on their cars. So we offer them short-term payments and generally help out where we can,” Bell said.

The nonprofit started in 2020 with a mission to serve as an educational venue for adults, veterans, and teens. Bell said it’s a space where anyone can participate, get their hands dirty and learn a new skill set around auto repair and tire shop service for free.

“These kids here don’t have much to do, so we just wanted to have an outlet for them to do something fun and learn something they will need,” he said. “If they come here, they can go to local auto parts stores and get jobs. Everyone is understaffed right now, so it’s just a way for them to figure out if they want to go. to school to do this.

The volunteer-run store runs on community donations and local car repairs, but Bell said getting started was no easy task.

“It took a lot of personal money,” he said. “My firefighter check came here for 12 months. We started with a few boxes of tools, we had a small building and a stable, and as COVID got worse, we had to leave that place and come here so the kids could come here. It was really tough.

Bell, who is also the Skamania County Fire District Chief, wears many hats in the community; people see him as the go-to guy on the block, making sacrifices for the sake of those around him, even when the going gets tough.

If you would like to donate or learn more about the program, click here.