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MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — The Merced County Office of Education is taking action to introduce the community to new career options.

MCOE’s Regional Occupational Program is revving up their engines with a free automotive technology class.

“We do suspension, we do tires, tire balancing, shocks,” explained Auto Tech Instructor Deven Chew. “Pretty much bumper to bumper in a short amount of time.”

The 20-week class meets four days a week and teaches the basics of auto technology, making students job-ready in just a few months.

“A lot of them don’t have those beginning skills doing something,” added Chew. “It allows them to gain those skills and any state they want to go to, they have a job.”

Instructors also teach interviewing skills and resume building.

“We come in and teach the soft skills – empathy, communication, collaboration,” said Job Developer and Training Technician Greg Friedman. “All the things employers are looking for these days.”

Participants must be over 18 years of age. Staff say it’s more than just finding students a job.

“We want our students to look for opportunities to change their lives, get into something they have a passion for, something they want to do, not only as a job but as a career,” said fellow Job Development and Training Technician Luis Sobrevilla.

Pay for an entry-level auto mechanic job ranges from $15-18 an hour. Applications are already open for the next round of classes in June. For details on how to apply, contact Dora Robles at (209) 381-6684 or [email protected]

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