(from left to right) Homer Swihart, San Jacinto College (SJC) Toyota T-TEN coordinator; SJC students Travis Everett, Stephen Luetan, and Elizabeth Wojtowicz; and Chris Tran, SJC Toyota T-TEN instructor. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department.
San Jacinto College students rank top three in Toyota automotive skills in Texas
Jeannie Peng-Armao -- May 14, 2012
PASADENA, Texas — Three San Jacinto College (SJC) students showcased their automotive skills to rise as the state's top Toyota technicians in training.
Travis Everett placed first; Stephen Luetan placed second; and Elizabeth Wojtowicz placed third during the recent SkillsUSA Texas collegiate competition. Everett earned a spot to the SkillsUSA national competition, set for June in Kansas City, Mo. Competing is just a part of the overall enjoyment of the industry, said Everett, who already holds six Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications and a job as a technician at Ron Carter Toyota in Alvin, Texas.
"Competing in SkillsUSA is about showing what we learn in the Toyota training program on a daily basis," said Everett, adding that the training allows him to excel not only in competitions, but at his workplace as well. "Some of the tasks are intimidating, like reassembling a transmission in a certain amount of time, but I like the challenge."
Homer Swihart, Toyota T-TEN coordinator with the SJC automotive technology department, said students were tested on eight ASE certification areas that included electrical, engine repair, brakes, steering and suspension, air condition, engine performance, auto transmission, and manual transmission. The ASE certifications reflect the quality of training and knowledge students receive in an automotive program.
SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service occupations. The organization has 13,000 school chapters in 54 state and territorial associations.
"Winning a competition like this requires the same self-discipline and study that is necessary to earn ASE certifications," said Swihart. "The level of commitment and the hunger for knowledge of these three students is evident through their performance. They've proven their desire to become successful in this industry."
San Jacinto College automotive students enjoy a near 100 percent job placement rate once they successfully complete their training. Luetan is already employed with Joe Myers, while Wojtowicz, a first year automotive student, is interning for a technical position with Westside Lexus.
The SJC automotive department is fully accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and is ASE, Level 1, certified. Each full-time automotive instructor is also an ASE Master-Certified Technician.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
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