The adage that â€œEducation Paysâ€ is suddenly quite real to students who were in Western Nevada Collegeâ€™s Automotive Mechanics classes this spring. When the students took voluntary certification exams following months of training in WNC technology labs, instructor Jason Spohr couldnâ€™t hide his pride.
Collectively, the students passed 106 Automotive Service Excellence certification exams, and each one passed at least two exams. Their strong showing demonstrated their mastery of the content and skills necessary for employment in the automotive repair field, Spohr said.
ASE is a national entity that took the initiative in 1972 to improve standards for automotive repair and service through testing and certification of automotive workers. More than 300,000 automotive technicians and service professionals have earned the blue-seal approval from ASE.
â€œPassing these exams conveys a national recognition from the standards of Automotive Service Excellence,â€ said Spohr. â€œThese are credentials that nearly all automotive repair facilities require in order to be employed. There are a lot of technicians working in the field who have not passed these exams, so we are very proud of our group.â€
Spohr said that several students, Alex Barr, Jason Bates, Ethan Galloway and Donald McKay, passed all nine certification exams.
â€œSome students elected to take fewer exams at this time if they havenâ€™t completed the respective coursework to feel confident in that particular area,â€ Spohr said.
The certification exams that WNC students took covered suspension and steering, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, automatic transmission and transaxle, manual drive train and axles, heating and air conditioning and maintenance and light repair.
Spohr said students can become more marketable for an auto repair career by completing an applied associate degree and passing the ASE certifications.
â€œIf students know that after two years, they can earn a degree and become certified, and then start out at $15 an hour and quickly go up to $20 to $22, it is very enticing,â€ Spohr said. â€œTheyâ€™d be employable at any dealership or full-service repair facility.â€
The students also benefitted from funding through the federal TAACCCT workforce training grant to help pay for the program.