By: Jake Torres
We all dread car trouble. It means delays and interruptions in our life – big-time. But at the Automotive Training Centre in Surrey BC, hindi dread ang nararamdaman ng mga estudyante ng ATC kapag mayroong car trouble kundi excitement.
Meet Julius Ponce, 32, originally from the Philippines, arrived in British Columbia when he was 18. Studying to be an Automotive Services Technician, Julius proudly says now he can calculate engine performance and tackle engine compression. With a job to make a living, Julius said the good thing about the Automotive Training Centre in Surrey (there are other branches across Canada) is that there is an Admissions Officer who can suggest one of many school schedules that can afford one to study and still work part-time or full-time or deal with family obligations.
Furthermore, Julius said the income opportunity to be an auto service technician is good. Julius said, “Kaya ko pang ayusin ang sarili kong kotse ng hindi nagbabayad!” (I can even fix my own car for free.)
Breaking stereotypes on the gender of auto service technicians, Ms. Chris Destor, 27, migrated to Canada with her family from then Philippines when she was 11. She said the good thing about the school is there is no waiting list. “You do not have to have a background on cars or mechanics. You can start from zero knowledge. You can even start anytime of the year so long as it is the start of a module.”
Chris started her training last August 2013 and expects to get her diploma May of this year. Now she can do alignment of wheels and replace brake pads. Chris added, “Hindi problema ang pagiging babae (As a woman it does not matter). Maganda ang experience, (The training is good) Mababait ang mga kaklase ko. (I like my classmates). Mahusay ang mga guro. (The instructors are great). And they really encouraged you to think and first find on your own how to do the repairs.”
Dean Gumban, 20, also moved to Canada in 1998 from Baguio City when he was 5 years old. Dean said the good thing about Automotive Training Centre is the ease of financial assistance through student loans. A school officer will help one go through the process of applying for a loan which when approved covers tuition, books, tools, and garments. Dean said “The only thing I bought on my own was my steel toed boots.” His recent project was an engine swap for a Nissan Maxima V6. Dean said, “When the engine turned on it was awesome, it felt good. My dream job is to work for a car company.” It is not unheard of auto service technicians earning $40,000 to $60,000 a year.
Automotive Training Centre offers other courses such as in Collision Repair, Service Consultancy, Dispatch and Transportation Operations, to name a few.
For more information, call
604 635 2228 or visit their site www.autotrainingcentre.com.