SMC Hosts 202 students for Automotive Day


Southwestern Michigan College’s Dowagiac campus hosted 202 Michiana large faculty learners Oct. 6 for Automotive Day. Members integrated Dowagiac, Cassopolis, Lakeshore, Niles, Coloma, Covert, Elkhart Area Career Centre and A.K. Smith Career Center, Michigan Metropolis.

The occasion aims to show learners the latest in automobile technology, these kinds of as innovative driver-aid devices (ADAS) that warn and/or actively choose manage of motor vehicles to increase driver basic safety and stop vehicle incidents.

ADAS has the possible to avert 40 p.c of all automobile crashes, 37 % of all injuries and 29 per cent of fatalities.

David Heacock, Autel ADAS discipline coach, has additional than 49 yrs in automotive repair service support with ASE Grasp, L1, L2, L3 and Services Advisor certifications.

“I’ve been training this technologies all over the world due to the fact 2008,” mentioned Heacock, who flew in from Canada. “ADAS, which has an effect on every single module on a auto, is all I do. In 2023, the U.S. govt pressured every producer to have forward and rear collision warning. A person-hundred percent have to have calibration. It’s not heading away because we need it for autonomous cars and is a growing sector in car fix.”

Car Working day also introduces learners to specialists who could utilize them in the upcoming, this kind of as Nate Zolman and Vice President Tony Milcherska of Zolman’s Very best-Just one Tire and Car Care, with 12 spots — 8 retail.

“We go over from Kalamazoo, more than to Benton Harbor, down to South Bend and above to Elkhart,” Milcherska stated. “Commercial has developed to 60 per cent of our business enterprise.”

Established in 1978 by his father, Zolman toggles in between staying a blunt manager with tips on navigating the authentic planet of perform and a demanding dad of 5 young children ages 18-24 figuring out faculty and occupations in diverse approaches.

1 son functions for the family enterprise, one particular entered fire protection. Two daughters go to Indiana College in Bloomington. One particular desired to be a dentist, the other a medical doctor of physical therapy. The youngest is a Ball State University freshman.

Zolman took benefit of the COVID-19 70-per cent business enterprise downturn to total his University of Notre Dame master’s degree in company administration (MBA).

Milcherska joined Zolman a ten years in the past as Mishawaka services manager after 10 ½ many years in the Army and a master’s diploma in details systems administration to go with his bachelor’s degree in company management and associate degree in prison justice.

Zolman employs 161, opening four additional spots in the previous 18 months. The dozen spots have 112 mechanical bays, 20 cell service trucks, $3.2 million in inventory between tires and automotive areas and offered 65,000 tires past yr.

The organization is divided into two divisions, retail (60 percent automotive repairs and 40 % tires) and industrial, 24-hour street company and retreading tires at an Indianapolis plant.

“We just opened a new professional trailer restore in Mishawaka with four drive-in bays and work on semi-trailers and utility trailers. We also do forklift and farm tires,” Milcherska explained.

“If you never want to be an vehicle mechanic or a lube tech,” which is all right,” Zolman mentioned. “The marketplace still wants you in some capability — accounting, finance, gross sales, stock management, internet marketing, human assets, insurance policy gains or information and facts technological innovation on computers. Yes, we have to have mechanics, but we also need salespeople and truck drivers.”

“We’re escalating,” Zolman claimed, “because we employ for character.

Lifetime selections you make exterior of do the job or college effects your long term, profits and social standing positively or negatively. Best case in point, a mechanic generating $100,000 is getting divorced, beverages far too a great deal to drown his sorrows and decides to drive residence rather of getting liable. He crashes, hurts someone, loses his license. We just cannot insure him. He’s fired.

“Any grownup who observes you, irrespective of whether it’s your instructors or coaches, is aware of what you do or do not do. We’re not judging, we’re evaluating you. If folks place the same exertion into doing work that they place into having out of it, they could double their earnings. We will boost a C talent with an amazing attitude about a grasp mechanic who’s a negative jerk. We can teach techniques. We simply cannot instruct remaining a form human being or a positive angle. And really don’t enjoy on your cellphone at work.”

Scott Klepinger’s Fashionable Muscle mass Car or truck Factory (MMCF) in Elkhart is an automotive shop specializing in turning basic cars into gasoline-injected scorching rods, from total present day motor and transmission swaps to modern-day suspension and brakes.

Kleplinger displayed his ’86 Camaro, which has reached 173 mph and gets 24 mpg highway.

College students explored the Jan and A.C. Kairis Constructing vehicle shop, from the ’69 Roadrunner underneath construction to the engine simulator, chatting with Professors Kyle Schrock and Jeff Robson.

“We are constructing the motor and transmission starting up in all probability future 7 days,” reported Schrock, who oversees Auto Club.

Pupils lunched on pizza in Mathews Convention Centre East, toured housing and the Student Action Center, peeking in on men’s basketball exercise and the rock-climbing wall.

College students intrigued in SMC’s automotive method can discover extra information at and use for absolutely free at