Amarillo College is working to fill empty positions left behind by retiring auto technicians.
As fewer people enter hands-on careers, Isaac Bernal, the Automotive Program Director at Amarillo College says the automotive industry is struggling.
“The last few years, a lot of technicians are retiring and we are not seeing an influx of new technicians, we need technicians that are qualified that are trained to replace those that are leaving and right now there aren’t enough of those and it is leaving a large gap,” said Bernal.
Riley Guile wanted to help fill the void.
He is a student in the auto tech program and is already working in the field thanks to the knowledge he has gained.
“It has been a very informative experience, I love working on cars, but there were a lot of things I wasn’t familiar with and was kind of scared to do but thanks to the program here, it has really built a lot of confidence in me to explore more parts of the industry that I wouldn’t have thought of before,” said Guile.
Bernal tells us along with the aging out of many workers, there have been major changes in cars meaning some techs aren’t industry ready.
“It is not just a simple mechanical repair anymore, everything is tied into electronics, not only do you have to become the mechanic, you have to become the IT technician as well,” added Bernal.
“Coming in there is a lot of shortage of the older guys that just do mechanical, so I get to come in and replace them and do a lot of the electrical which is pretty exciting and pretty fun for me,” said Guile.
Bernal tells us the good news is 40 new students are expected to start in the program in the fall semester.
For details on the program, click here.