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Auto & Diesel Technicians Night Helps Job Seekers and Employers

Sean Nigh is a student in the Automotive Technology program at Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) and hopes to find a job as an automotive technician in the Traverse City area after he graduates. That is why he attended an Auto and Diesel Technicians Night hosted by the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (NWMCOG), Northwest Michigan Works!, and NMC.

People standing in a hallway with booths on each side

"This gives me a chance to see who's hiring so when I get my degree I know who I can look up first to apply for a job," said Nigh.

Glenn Chickas was also at the event. He is considering a career as an auto or diesel technician and was looking for information about training and certification.

"Anywhere you go now they're looking for certified," said Chickas. "There aren't many backyard mechanics anymore that are able to make a living."

Besides giving individuals like Chickas and Nigh an opportunity to meet local employers and training providers, the event also gave technicians already working in the auto and diesel field a chance to talk shop and learn about new career and training opportunities.

Men standing around a truck with the hood open"Throughout the year technicians really don't get a chance to interact with each other or employers other than at training events," said Wayne Moody, the program coordinator for Automotive Service Technology at NMC. "Hopefully between the two different sides of the industry there will be some opportunities to make some good contacts here."

While making good contacts is important for job seekers and people interested in training programs, it is also important for local employers who sometimes have a difficult time finding skilled auto and diesel technicians.

"This really is a time of change for this industry," said Moody. "To find a guy that has both the old mechanical skills and the new high tech skills that's tough to find."

"We find that there's really not a lot of local men and women entering these positions," said Rich King, the fixed operations director at the Bill Marsh Automotive Group. "We're having to travel further and further away to find those people so having an event like this in our backyard is just outstanding."


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