NewsLocal News


Automotive class by City College of MSUB empowering women from around the world

Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 10:40:03-04

BILLINGS — City College of Montana State University Billings (MSUB) is offering a set of free classes for women to learn automotive skills; one of the classes took place on Saturday.

“The cost of replacing a car is very expensive," said Katherine Pfau, the department chair of City College of MSUB's transportation and welding department, "Cars will last a long time if you spend a few extra dollars here and there making sure the maintenance is done on them."

She said her love for automotive technology began when she was in high school when she learned to work on "an old pickup truck."

“You are empowered to ask the technician, ‘Why are we replacing this?’ or ‘Should we be doing this?’ or ‘Hey, will you look at my brakes while you’re rotating (the) tires?’" said Pfau.

A number of women who participated in Saturday's class said they were born to regions of the world where the predominant cultures focused on public transportation and walkable cities, rather than accommodating personal motor vehicles.

“I think it's given me tools to be more independent when my car does break down," said Anya Anokhina, who is originally from Russia where she said most people, especially women, have relied on public transportation for generations.

Tasks as commonplace to many Americans like pumping one's own gas was once estranged and intimidating to these international students.

“Where I come from I never drove and my parents really didn’t drive. So, I really didn’t have anybody to introduce me to cars," said Meglena Wahrlich, who is originally from Bulgaria.

Nthaviseng Seave from South Africa, said she enjoys cars, but knows little about them, however, the class is making her consider a career in the automotive industry.

A schedule of City College of MSUB's upcoming women's automotive classes can be found below:

City College of MSUB
3803 Central Ave, Billings, MT 59102
Tech Building Room B041

Women in Automotive, Introduction: April 20, 2024, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Women in Automotive , Advanced: May 11, 2024, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM