When Aurelio Becerril Silva’s friends told him about Knox Technical Center’s Automotive Technician Program, he was excited about the possibility of enrolling to gain new job skills. However, he also felt worried about his ability to succeed as a student.
Born in Mexico, Silva immigrated to the United States in the 1990s and spent many years traveling for work before settling down to live in Ohio with his wife, Araceli Becerril. English is his second language, and he has always been much more comfortable using Spanish–especially when reading.
While starting a new adult education program can look intimidating to anyone, Silva was especially worried about comprehending his textbook readings in English.
Knox Technical Center’s Industrial Program Coordinator, Mike Creighton, remembers meeting Silva for the first time and addressing his concerns about whether the program would be a good fit.
“Because English was his second language, his main concern when he started the paperwork process was whether or not he would be able to comprehend what the book said,” Creighton recalled.
Knox Technical Center is dedicated to meeting students where they are and helping them to achieve their career goals. Creighton assured Silva of this, and during the nine-month program, constant support was offered by instructors, staff and even classmates.
After starting the program, Silva began to fall behind with textbook readings as he had feared might happen. A staff member at Knox Technical Center found the textbook online and emailed it to him.
At home, Silva’s wife worked hard to support her husband’s education. Becerril spent many hours translating his online textbook from English to Spanish in order to simplify the learning process for him. Each week, Silva asked Creighton what the next chapter would be so his wife could translate it for him in advance.
Creighton noted Silva also translated the text by hand, in his physical textbook.
“I would go by and see his textbook, and in-between the lines, everything would be written in Spanish. Not only was it being translated on the computer, but he was also writing it in his book so that he could follow along and stay on top of it,” Creighton said.
When it came time for hands-on automotive work in the lab, Silva was an outstanding student. He could easily repeat a technique precisely after one demonstration, and he understood the work he was doing very well. If his concerns about reading the textbook had prevented him from enrolling, Silva’s automotive skill would have gone unrecognized.
Silva’s hard work and ability to adapt to the program was very impressive to the staff at the school.
“He was a great guy, very pleasant to have in the class, and helpful with other students. He would help other students–and of course, students helped him. It was neat to watch somebody that came in with Spanish as a main language be able to come through the program and do as well as he did,” Creighton said of Silva.
The Automotive Technician Program is an entry level program, teaching everything from brakes to performance of engines and transmissions. The curriculum includes all aspects of brakes, electrical suspension systems, heating and cooling, air conditioning, drivability and computer problems.
As the months went on, Silva continued to succeed. He believes God was helping him achieve his goals and is grateful his instructor was always willing to answer any questions or to give him a little extra attention.
Since graduating the program in Dec. 2018, Silva now works full-time as an electrician as well as part-time in automotive. He is grateful to have these new job opportunities and credits his education at Knox Technical Center for opening doors for him.
“It was a really good experience. I was blessed all over the place by, you know, God helping me find these people,” Silva said. “I have nothing to say but good things about them.”
Knox Technical Center offers a variety of adult education programs in the fields of healthcare, industrial, business, information technology, public safety, and cosmetology. Jane Marlow, KTC Director, adds, “Our focus is providing quality programs in a student-centered environment. The individual attention each student receives is why the completion, placement, and certification rates are outstanding!”
Knox Technical Center’s Automotive Technician program provides the opportunity for the students to gain important skills that can be transferable to other careers such as manufacturing and maintenance. These mechanical skills are important to many employers.
Along with the Automotive Technician program, there are other Industrial Programs that Knox Technical Center offers such as: Welding Certification beginning August 2, HVACR beginning August 2, and Maintenance Technician (a brand new program) beginning September 1.
The next Auto Technician program begins in August. Contact Mike Creighton at 740.393.2933 for enrollment information.
To learn more about their offerings, visit their website at www.knoxtechnicalcenter.com or call 740-393-2933 to speak with a staff member.