Underhood: ABS Diagnostics
WyoTech announced that Ashton Settlemire, a 2021 graduate from WyoTech, secured a position as a diesel technician with C&B Operations, the Midwest’s premier John Deere dealership. The job offer extended to Settlemire reflects a growing trend of trade school students, who are trained in real-world settings during their education, landing coveted positions.
There are 99,574 people employed in the trade and technical schools industry in the U.S. as of 2022, and the business in the trade and technical schools industry in the U.S. now employs more workers than it did five years ago.
Having been interested in dirt bikes at a young age, Settlemire grew familiar with the fixing and repair processes that came with his hobby. Over time, he realized his desire to turn his hobby into a career. WyoTech presented the perfect transitional opportunity that allowed Settlemire to transform his knowledge into a professional endeavor.
“I knew four-year and two-year school was too long, and WyoTech talked about that heavily,” said Settlemire. “After speaking to former students, (I knew) it was the right choice.”
Like Settlemire, more students are forgoing the traditional path of a four-year university. According to Finances Online, a December 2020 survey shows 57% of college students agree that higher education is no longer “worth the cost.”
Career School Now reported that traditional college costs about three times more than trade schools, at $100,000 to $33,000. Not only is the trade school path more affordable, but trade school careers lead to many well-paying careers. Career School Now also found that in 2020, dental assistants had an average annual salary of $42,310. However, electricians earned an annual pay of $61,550.
Job placement within trade schools is also outpacing college graduates. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported in 2020 that 41% of college graduates are underemployed.
Settlemire graduated from WyoTech in September 2021. He emphasized how the people at WyoTech made it a great experience. Instructors provided Settlemire with “fantastic support” and were consistently involved with students throughout his time studying at the school.
“It really made you want to show up in class,” said Settlemire, who noted that his favorite course was his Applied Service Management class, commonly known as ASM.
“The willingness of the staff to help students achieve their goals is by far the most beneficial aspect of WyoTech. If you tell your instructor you have a goal, they will help you reach it and make you go further. Help was always there and available.”
At WyoTech, Settlemire spent half of his time in the classroom learning core concepts and the other half in the shops. In the shop, he built hydraulic schematics after analyzing 2D models in class. As a visual learner, Settlemire found the opportunity to learn from both 2D and 3D experiences to be immensely helpful as he progressed through his courses. And this hybrid classroom/real-world learning model is appealing to employers, who want employees who already know how to do the job.
Settlemire detailed how he has enjoyed his experiences with C&B Operations thus far, and how WyoTech’s training helped him prepare for his current role. He has been able to maintain a consistent line of communication with his fellow service members and employees, who have been very willing to share their collective wealth of knowledge. In many ways, Settlemire has found his daily workload to be very similar to the work he did at WyoTech, with the main difference being the use of agricultural equipment.
Settlemire, who joined C&B Operations in mid-October, detailed the ways in which WyoTech’s training has been critical to his success in his new role, stating, “WyoTech’s coverage of hydraulics and electricity concepts has been tremendously helpful now that I am in the field. The WyoTech methodology was very focused on finding a problem, diagnosing it, and fixing it. This approach was applied to each workshop scenario, and that consistency is key.”
Settlemire also mentioned how WyoTech has prepared him to manage tasks outside of the realm of technician work.
“If you stay focused, ask questions, and give 100%, you will be able to secure a career in your field of choice, achieve work-life balance, and walk away with a good mindset,” he said.
“WyoTech has produced many high-quality entry-level technicians for C&B,” says Adam Somers, a Regional Human Resources Manager for C&B Operations. “It’s no longer the reality where experienced technicians are applying to fill positions for many companies. Because of this, it is crucial that we partner with educational institutions such as WyoTech in order to stay competitive in the market.”
WyoTech’s automotive and diesel mechanic school has seen its graduates obtain quality training and go on to pursue great careers with major companies located all across the globe.
For more information about WyoTech’s automotive schooling and diesel technician programs, please visit https://www.wyotech.edu.