Technician.Academy recently had the opportunity to present fuel systems training to the automotive students of West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) in Paducah, Kentucky.

When you first drive up to the facility, you wonder if you are in the right location. The outside of the building is amazingly clean and well-maintained. Unlike some automotive programs, there aren’t any work-in-progress vehicles sitting around the outside of the building. WKCTC has a large fleet of vehicles that are used to train on, which are housed within the building itself. Once you open the door and step into the facility, you would be amazed at the lab/shop area. Everything is there, from a row of new lifts to a stand-alone area with a new alignment rack, then another area with the latest tire machines and balancers. I was truly in awe of this facility and its layout that encourages a training atmosphere.

Not only does the facility project professionalism to the visitor, but the students provide an even greater sense of that professional image. A large amount of this professional work ethic is brought on by the instructor Mr. Robert (Bob) Gunn. Mr. Gunn is a long-time veteran of the industry, having started out as a line technician then worked for many OE manufacturers such as Nissan and Ford. Bob was a professor at the University of Alaska where he started the Automotive Training Center there. He then moved to Hickory, Kentucky, and started the Automotive Program at WKCTC. Mr. Gunn began as program coordinator for the WKCTC Automotive Program in 2010 then acquired NATEF certification for post-secondary schools in 2014. It is obvious that the students in this program truly respect and learn automotive repair from Mr. Gunn’s experience within the industry.

The program continues to see an 80% completion rate of the automotive curriculum. This may seem low to some, but a lot of students get recruited by local industries before they finish their automotive degree or certificate. With the dynamic of students leaving the program through recruitment into other industries, such as manufacturing or skilled trades like construction, about 50% of the students graduate with their Associate’s degree in Automotive Technology.

The area around WKCTC shows a continuing demand for the program’s students, and because of this, many students choose to attain just their certificate in automotive technology then go directly into the repair industry. If you are a student or parent of a high school student that shows an interest in the automotive industry, you should consider this automotive program. Mr. Gunn and the administration at WKCTC are invested in the students. These students have a solid future in the automotive industry thanks to the education they receive at this facility. Be sure to look at what is offered at Kentucky Community and Technical College.