Nothing says spring more than daffodils, sunshine, and a ride on a Harley. The spring dreams of twenty junior Assisi Scholars were enhanced by a field trip to the Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati dealership on Tennessee Avenue just a few miles from Roger Bacon High School. Robert Nolan, owner of the dealership and his staff led the RB students through each department of the business while explaining the products, services, and skills needed by the employees in each functional area. The students were eager to learn about business in the heart of a Harley-Davidson dealership, one of America’s oldest corporations.
Like their adult chaperones, Ms. Pacak, Dr. Luebbe, and Mr. Blanton who are motorcyclists, the RB students had fun trying on helmets, sunglasses, listening to sound systems, and sitting on a variety of bikes. Employees, Morrie and Tanya who run the motor clothes department, invited the students to check out the helmets and learn about the purpose of each helmet design. Cy in the sales department offered an in-depth review of the four motorcycle families from Sportsters through Touring bikes. While the motorcycles were secured by their kickstands and Cy’s steady hands, the students enjoyed what it felt like to sit on a such a big bike, and of course, this was a high point of the visit. One student commented, “I felt empowered on the 2018 Ultra Limited, ready to cruise down the country roads.” Another scholar who will perhaps be an advertising executive in the future said, “So cool, so big, so powerful!”
The tour did not end on the main floor. Students were escorted to the behind the scenes areas of the business—service, parts, etc. Jamie, the head of the repair services met the students and explained the process of servicing a motorcycle as well as the extensive two-year training program to become an expert motorcycle mechanic. Students were impressed by the precision tools and the cleanliness of the shop floor. No strangers to frequent testing, the students were quizzed on their math and mechanical skills by Robert Nolan. As a final act of generosity, Robert sent each student back to school with a key chain and a chip as a souvenir.
According to the students, it was one of the most interesting field trips they have had and a fun way to learn about how a business works. The staff of Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati was just as exuberant as the students who visited. Since our return, the sound of “vroom, vroom,” one of the many sounds of spring, can still be heard as Assisi Scholars walk through the halls.
By Dr. Deborah Luebbe