“I feel like I’ve had the best of both worlds by choosing to take the Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship program at Loyalist College,” said Andrew Shantz, a second-year apprentice currently working at Canadian Tire in Picton. “By choosing a smaller college I’m able to get individual assistance from the professors whenever I need it — yet because of the strong reputation the college has within the industry, Loyalist students have amazing opportunities at both national and international levels. This year I competed at the Ontario Skills Canada competition in Waterloo. I felt very proud when I placed eighth out of 54 and felt confident that the college had prepared me well for this challenge. There’s no place I’d rather be than Loyalist.”
This year the Loyalist faculty had an active role in the Provincial and National Skills Canada competitions. Gerry Byrd, one of the Loyalist faculty members, described their responsibilities. “There were six competition stations within the automotive competition and we developed the curriculum, tests, and acted as judges, for two of these sections. Two of our faculty members were judges at the Nationals as the Ontario representatives. It was an honour to act in this role. There were two divisions — one for college students and apprentices, the other for high school students. It was an excellent opportunity for us to see the skill level of others in our field and reinforced our confidence that our students are well prepared to enter the industry,”
“Our students have had the unique opportunity of attending the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) convention at the Las Vegas Convention Centre for the past three years,” said faculty member Dave Stewart. “This is a closed show and Loyalist is the only Canadian college that has been included in this premier automotive specialty products trade event. Each year, SEMA draws approximately 50,000 of the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products. As a closed show it allows industry leaders and big buyers to discuss the direction that the automotive industry will take. Our students were there — making contacts they never dreamed possible. We’re very proud of them. They made such a positive impression the first year that we have been invited to return each year since then.”
Chris Drumm graduated from the Motive Power Technician program in June 2010 and works as a lube technician at Edwards Ford in Kingston. “It felt really good to know that I could cross the border if I chose to and find work in many places where Loyalist is known and respected. It felt great to know that the college has a strong reputation here in our area and that I’d have that advantage when I went in search of work. My current employer has hired other Loyalist grads. He knew their skill level and I know that was a definite edge for me when I applied. I like working in a hands-on environment and my Loyalist training made this possible. I love what I do.”
Loyalist offers the Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship program, the Motive Power Fundamentals – Parts and Counter Personnel certificate program and a Motive Power Technician diploma program. Click to learn more about these or other Skills Training programs.