Automotive Technology Department Trains Students In Booming Workforce
(Featured photo: OCCC Transportation Technology building – Photo by Trent McMillen)
Tucked away on the southeast corner of campus across the street from the John Massey Center sits the Transportation Technology Center. This building houses the automotive technology department at Oklahoma City Community College.
Since 1978, students looking to move into the automotive workforce are able to get hands-on experience here on campus.
“All the vehicles we work on in our shops are donor vehicles which will never see the road again. This allows the students to learn on new vehicles without the fear of damaging a customer’s $80,000 daily driver” said Bradley Walker, Automotive Department Chair.
This program isn’t just for mechanics however. The automotive department at OCCC offers certificates of mastery and associate degrees in both mechanics and service advisory. “The two certificates we offer are the Automotive Technology Certificate of Mastery and the Vehicle Service Advisor Certificate of Mastery. The Automotive Technology Certificate of Mastery would benefit individuals that like to do hands-on work. The Vehicle Service Advisor Certificate of Mastery would benefit individuals that enjoy customer service. The difference between the automotive technician and the automotive service advisor is the technician is the one who diagnoses and repairs the vehicle and the service advisor is the one that deals with the customers. The two degrees we offer are the General Motors Automotive Service Education Program and the Automotive Internship Technology Program. The GM ASEP program serves GM dealers (Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Cadillac, GM fleets, and ACDelco Professional Service Centers). The ATIP students choose between Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, or an independent shop.This gives our students a wide range of employment options.”
The automotive technology department at OCCC also offers a robust variety of makes of vehicles to specialize in.
“One of the biggest differences between OCCC’s program and most of the other programs in the state is that we offer an Associate’s degree and the opportunity to receive factory specific certifications. We run programs with General Motors, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota. One other school in the state has Associate’s degree programs but we are the only school in Oklahoma with a Honda or Nissan program.”
Walker also shares with the Pioneer the future of the program at OCCC.
“We are starting to integrate electric vehicles into our curriculum. Our corporate partners have told all schools to start gearing up for EV education. We recently started an EV state certification program. This program deals mainly with how to work on EV’s safely.”
According to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma is the most EV-friendly state in the nation.
The state also incentivizes automotive parts and manufacturers, including customized workforce programs and expedited permitting. Companies driving the automotive workforce in the state include Goodyear, Henniges Automotive, Sport Chassis, Newell Coach, Spiers New Technologies, Michelin Tire, and IC Bus.
With Oklahoma’s rapidly growing workforce, the automotive technology department at OCCC is committed to helping students learn and succeed.
Anybody interested in these programs can visit online or email Bradley Walker at [email protected] for more information.