In February of 2010 my life totally changed. I found myself out of work after 23 years with the same company. Work was limited in my area of skill, so I had to look at other options. Retirement wasn't one of them. Growing up in Cortland, Ohio, I always worked on cars. My dad and brother had Corvettes, some show cars, and even a race car or two. Fixing cars was more of a hobby, but now facing an uncertain employment future, I looked into a career in the automotive field. I was very much an "old school" guy when it came to cars. The thought of learning about fuel injection, turbos, superchargers, emissions, and computer diagnosis was more than a little intimidating. Once I got to OTC I found out I wasn't the only one, there were many students like me in similar situations. The instructors at OTC took the time to teach me what I needed to know. If one instructor didn't have the experience in a particular area, others did. They have helped me with everything from learning great custom service skills to mapping a turbocharged rice burner. After graduation I hope to continue my education. Ideally I'd like to be accepted into the BMW STEP program here. I know firsthand that life can lead you in directions you never thought were possible. I'm open to where my new road leads me. I'm prepared for anything.
I was in the automotive industry for seven years and needed a change. I looked into heavy duty diesel as a direction that could meet the needs of my family and provide consistency in the quantity of work. Since my training and background were in automotive, I needed to find a program that could give me the training I needed to be successful in the diesel industry. By enrolling in the Diesel Equipment Program at Ohio Technical College, I have a jump start to the career I'm looking for and have the skills employers are demanding. I'm thankful to OTC for the opportunity to learn new skills, and I met some wonderful people that have helped me throughout my learning experience. I now possess a level of professionalism and training that will keep me on a successful path.
I chose OTC for real-world training by instructors who have a wealth of knowledge and experience. In my welding class, each instructor took the time to help students with specific problems in their welding techniques and also showed us how to overcome problems in the workforce. Welding is not an easy skill to master, nor is working outside in the rain, snow and hot sun. I feel the welding course at OTC is outstanding and the fact that not one student yet has failed a welding certification is remarkable. It shows these instructors know what they are talking about; all you need to do is pay attention and learn from them. I plan on joining a strong union and becoming an in-demand welder.
I began practicing auto collision about five years ago. Initially I was interested in mechanics, but then found auto body repair much more interesting as it also allowed me to use my artistic abilities. I was lucky enough to receive scholarship money toward attending Ohio Technical College from my instructor Gary Dolbow. She gave me the opportunity to advance my skills in auto body. While here at OTC, I learned how to weld, perform plastic repair, paint and refinish, pull frames on a frame rack, custom paint with airbrushing and pinstriping, and replace windows in vehicles. The skills that I learned in the last 18 months you cannot find anywhere else. I look forward to working in the industry and making a difference.
After hearing the details of the OTC curriculum from a friend, I knew it was the next step to continue my education. I worked hard to save enough money, and even earned some scholarships to pay for about half of my training at OTC. The past 18 months have flown by. Now that my training at OTC is complete, I feel well prepared to enter the working world. The Restoration program was a perfect combination of everything auto related, from basic mechanical to metal working, painting, and even upholstery. It was certainly a benefit that I had prior understanding of most of the curriculum, but the program is designed for students of all skill levels to succeed if they put forth the effort.