Ross Collins career and technical students are getting advanced hands-on training in the automotive industry.
“They have a chance to come down and do live work activities, gain hands on experience that would prepare them for the industry, also acquire ASC national certifications say two-year complete program, that would allow us to go basically from the front end of the vehicle to the rear on all types of different service work.” Said Matt Johnson, automotive instructor.
Some students got their calling for the automotive industry when they were of young age.
“When I was probably in fifth-grade my mom would make me go out and change her tires or do some oil changes, and my dad was always a mechanic, so that really inspired me to be a mechanic.” Said Cleveland Caraway Ross Collins student.
According to Ross Collins instructors, the demand for mechanics is high.
“Most of the average technician is 45 to 50-years-old, so young kids getting into the industry is a dire need; it’s crucial to the industry right now, it allows them to go to dealers, independent garages, and make a competitive wage as long as they stay with it.” Said Matt Johnson, automotive instructor.
Time and patience is what it takes to work in this industry according to instructors.
“Transmissions and motors, it takes time the less you’re frustrated you’ll get it.” Said Shederick Grace Jr., Ross Collins Student.
Teachers say the students also learn to give back while working on the vehicles.
“This program has really helped a lot of people in this community, we tend to gravitate to vehicles of people in need, vehicles of individuals who may not have the resources to be able to fix the cars themselves.” Said Rob Smith, career and tech director.
Students that complete this program will leave with a reward that will last a lifetime.
“Students belong to Lauderdale County, some of these students belong to Meridian High School, all of these students have the opportunity to become Meridian Community College students to be enrolled in our dual enrollment program here at Ross Collins Career and Technical Center and ultimately leave have a college certificate before they graduate high school.”Said Rob Smith, career and tech director.