Beginning this fall, MCCC will be reinstating its Auto Service program. The program was discontinued in 1996.
The director of the new program, Ross Oskui, said that the program is an attempt to address the growing demand for auto technicians.
“I have more jobs than I anticipate students. I’m getting calls every day. ‘Do you have any service techs, do you have any service techs?’ I haven’t even started the program yet,” Ross said, followed by a short laugh.
“I’m getting calls from as far away as Lansing. They’re saying ‘we’re dying for auto-techs.’”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for auto service techs and mechanics are expected to grow nine percent over the next ten years. That’s an estimated 60,400 new jobs.
The median pay for an auto technician and mechanic in 2012 was ranged from $31,090-$47,240, depending on the employer, with government positions paying the most.
The new program will be located in the Career Technology Center, and will share a garage with the current auto engineering program.
The two programs differ in that the engineering program focuses more on the design and testing of vehicles, where the auto service program will focus more on inspecting and repairing vehicles.
Oskui, the director of the new program, said that he first started working at his family’s auto shop.
“I started out working in the family business, I grew it to four auto repair shops, I owned four auto repair shops,” Ross said.
From there he went on to teach at Baker College.
“I left Baker College to go work as an engineer at Chrysler, and from Chrysler I came here.”
Ross cites the opportunity to build the program “from the ground up” as his reason for leaving Chrysler.
The former program was taught by Jack Roush, founder of the Roush family of automotive companies.