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Auto technician students at Eastern Maine Community College have new opportunities

Subaru dealers gave a car towards the new 'Subaru U' program to make automotive students more competitive upon graduation.

BANGOR, Maine — "Works for ME" helps to fill skilled trade jobs and the state, as it faces a shortage of skilled workers in these often high-paying positions. Auto technicians are part of that category.

Today, Subaru dealers pitched in to the effort by donating a car to Eastern Maine Community College's Automotive program. Students in this program will have opportunities to learn everything they can about the Subaru vehicle.

John Benson, a service technician in Bangor, used to work in the Millinocket Paper Mill until it closed in 2008. 

"I was able to go to EMCC through a government sponsored program and I earned my two year degree there in the automotive program," said Benson.

At 51 years of age, Benson started his automotive career with a internship at Quirk Subaru in Bangor. Two years later, he became full time at the dealership as a service technician. 

Credit: NCM

Hank Gutting is one of Benson's work colleagues, and he also graduated from the two-year automotive program at EMCC

"They showed me the values of hard work, which then I went to Eastern Maine and they showed me how to put my hard work into a practical job," said Gutting.

Mark Nevells is the service manager at Quirk Subaru.

"One of the first things we look at.. is somebody that understands good work ethic, you got to be here on time, you got to be willing to stay late, you got to be able to do what needs to be done to take care of all our customer needs," said Nevells.

Automotive careers are considered a high paying job type for students graduating out of the two year program.

"You are going to be making a better wage and probably have a lot of benefits than a lot of other four year degrees that get into entry level positions," said Jim Harris from Subaru New England.

Credit: NCM

Positions and opportunities strengthened Thursday at Eastern Maine Community College when Subaru donated a car to the automotive program.  

EMMC students are now able to get a jump start into a possible career working with Subaru vehicles right after they graduate.