A night in the CCC auto lab at Findlay Honda


Students listen to master auto technician Jonathan Begay explain inspection points for automobiles during CCC's Auto Tech 100 class at Findlay Honda in Flagstaff.



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Eleven students sit in room, dressed in clothes they don’t mind getting dirty. They learn about filters, batteries, fluids, belts, tires, brakes, suspensions, lights and so much more.


The average vehicle, when it gets a thorough inspection, undergoes a system check from top to bottom, bumper to bumper and all points in between, said Jonathan Begay.


“Every car is a good car if you take care of it,” Begay said. “You take care of it, it’ll take care of you.”


Welcome to Automotive Technician 100 at Coconino Community College, an evening class geared toward people who work or go to school during the day. Begay is a longtime, experienced master technician at Findlay Honda. As part of an important college-business partnership between CCC and Findlay Honda, Begay serves as instructor for the AUT 100 class, which started this spring and is taught at Findlay’s shop on the east side of Flagstaff. 


Tyson Hiebert is a student in the class that meets from 6 to 9:30 p.m.


“I like to work on things and fix things and see how they work,” Hiebert said, adding that he has several vehicles on which he can practice what he learns in the class. “Maybe, after COVID’s done, I can get a job with it.”


He also said that the night’s class, alone, showed him how to fix a problem on a friend’s car.


Ian Hall said he’s taking the class for “personal enrichment” but that he’s leaving his “options open” for the possibility for work in the automotive field.


“I’ve always wanted to know more about cars,” Hall said.


Lindsay “Laery” Frech, the only female in the class this semester, said she is hopeful to get a job in the auto industry, but she also wants to learn welding, construction, electrical.


“They all interest me,” she said, adding that when she lived in Alaska, all skills like those would have come in handy on any given day.


Half of the class is spent in lecture, and half of the class is spent in lab time in one of the auto bays at Findlay Honda. The point, Begay said, is to get the students to practically apply what they have been learning during the lecture period.


“After this class, they can get multiple jobs right away,” Begay said. Among them are several sales and inspection positions in the automotive industry, which is constantly struggling to find qualified individuals.



Ken Myers, who oversees the Auto Tech program for CCC, said that more classes are in the works at CCC to allow students to continue expanding their knowledge base in the automotive trades, with the ultimate goal of creating a new cadre of Automotive Service Excellence-qualified technicians to fill the gap.


The night’s lab featured Frech’s white 1981 Monte Carlo. She walked around the vehicle with the other students as they learned from Begay on how to identify areas on the vehicle (there were many) that needed some work.


“It’s actually my first car,” she said, smiling. “It needs work, and I want to know how to fix it.”


She’s on her way.


For more information about the new CCC Auto Tech program, visit www.coconino.edu/pathways. Summer registration begins March 1. Get a head start on the Fall semester with summer courses by applying today at www.coconino.edu/apply-now.


For a slideshow of the Auto Tech lab, visit the CCC Flickr page at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmUzLs3Y



Monday, 1st March 2021

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  • Monday, 1st March 2021