Midland Independent School District press release
Automotive and diesel technicians and collision repair specialists are in high demand,
and Midland ISD, in partnership with Midland College, is helping fill the need by
offering high school students certifications in these areas.
"The demand here locally is really high," Pete Avalos, Midland College Auto/Diesel
Department Chair, said. "The expected growth is about 15% over the next five years
in our region alone, despite a downturn in the oil and gas industry. And considering
the average age of a technician here is about 45 years old, the need for new techs
in the industry is great."
High school students study auto tech and collision repair at Midland College's Advanced
Technology Center (ATC) and learn about diesel tech at MC's Cogdell Center. All concentrations
offer industry certifications, such as from the National Institute of Automotive Service
Excellence (ASE), that enable students to enter the workforce straight out of high
school. The opportunities for students aren't limited to working on engines or popping
"The market is broad, and not all people turn a wrench in these careers," Avalos said,
himself a two-decade veteran of tech work at dealerships and in the oil and gas industry.
"Students might find opportunities as service writers, managers, specialists or even
Students don't have to be mechanically inclined to participate in these programs.
All students start by learning the nuts and bolts — literally — and how to properly
use tools like a hammer, "which most people use incorrectly," Avalos said. Students
learn the fundamental technical and problem-solving skills they need to succeed after
graduation. There are also dual-credit opportunities, which offer a head start on
receiving college-level certifications.
"The more opportunities we offer our students to train them in vocational tech, the
better," Mickala Harper, Midland ISD Director of Career and Technological Education
(CTE), said. "Programs like this keep a lot of kids in school because they can take
courses based on a hobby or an outright career plan. Ultimately, courses like auto
and diesel tech and collision repair put kids on the path for success straight out