ENID, Okla. — Fueling a career
Changes in the general economy and the industry’s response to them have created a new need in the automotive technology program as well.
“With businesses turning to alternative fuel to save money, Autry’s Compressed Natural Gas State of Oklahoma Certification class has experienced growth,” said Melissa Jenlink, marketing director for Autry. “Auto technicians learn the basics of CNG installation operations, state rules and regulations and have the option to take the state certification test at the end of the class.”
James Chastain, automotive instructor at Autry, helps students learn not only how to repair gasoline-fueled vehicles but to repair and maintain vehicles that operate on CNG.
More and more vehicles are powered primarily or entirely on CNG, Chastain explained. Most of the vehicles start out on CNG and run on it until the tank is empty, then switch over to gasoline.
“We think it’s going to be a very big thing in the near future,” Chastain said.
Autry is one of only a handful of technical schools licensed to teach the state-mandated CNG course.
CNG isn’t just for powering cars and trucks. It’s technology that is catching on in other areas.
“They are also converting heavy equipment as well to CNG,” Chastain said.
“With the substantial growth in the transportation industry there is a need for diesel technicians, automotive technicians, collision repair technicians, truck drivers and small engine mechanics,” Jenlink said. “Autry offers training in all areas—some that span over a couple weeks and some that could last as long as two years. Training is offered during the day and evening. Some courses are even offered over the weekend. Customized training can be put together for local businesses.”
Air conditioning and refrigeration technicians are high in demand and low in supply, he said. Autry’s training program meets requirements of Oklahoma Construction Industry Board and International Mechanical and Fuel Gas Code.
Students learn installation, operation, maintenance and repair of residential and commercial air conditioning, heating and refrigeration systems.