Instructors at the Auto/Diesel Institute, Baker College, Owosso campus are like kids in a candy store.
The brand new 43,000-square-foot facility was built to feed an increasing need.
"It's to provide capacity for our growing programs," said Pete Karsten, president of Baker College, Owosso campus. "Both the diesel program and our auto programs."
The auto/diesel program at Baker College's Owosso campus has grown rapidly during the past few years, going from a few dozen students to more than 400 enrolled today.
In fact, the program is gaining such a reputation that students from out of state are now looking at the program.
"I've looked at other colleges outside of this state, and it's just not something I'd been able to do with a family and everything," said Jonathan Yettaw, student. "It's wonderful. "
Gone are the days when working on most cars only required a set of wrenches and some time.
"That's gone away completely," said Rich Barror, diesel program coordinator. "Be it heavy truck, diesel, automotive, it's all electronics and fuel systems are run by electronics. You have to have the smarts and special equipment to get into this anymore."
And while book work is a necessary evil in any program, if you want to be a mechanic nothing beats getting dirty.
"You need the hands-on experience. You need to know what's going on to be able to diagnose, and once you get into an engine or into an electrical system, you need to know that, you need to have that knowledge, a working knowledge," said Barror.
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