New Snap-on Certification Program

LBCC and Snap-On, Inc. have partnered to bring the first Snap-on Certification Training Center to Oregon. The college is one of 27 nationally recognized Snap-on Certified Training Centers across the country.

Did you know that the average new car today has more computer power than the Space Shuttle? According to Greg Rintala, Snap-on National Sales Manager, today’s cars are run almost entirely by microprocessors.

“The average new car has dozens of microprocessors that run everything from the door locks to the engine systems,” said Rintala.

Knowing how to diagnose problems in these often-complex systems is a critical part of automotive repair today. LBCC’s Snap-on certification program aims to teach the skills necessary to understand the capabilities of the diagnostic tools used in the field.

As the largest mechanical tool vendor and manufacturer in the world, Snap-on holds approximately 65 percent of the aftermarket automotive diagnostic tool market.

Through the Snap-on certification program, current automotive students and working technicians in the field will be able to certify for competence with Snap-On equipment. Certification helps assure vehicle owners and potential employers that the technician has the skill sets to repair computer-controlled vehicles successfully.

“The Snap-on certification program is designed to train technicians to be power- users of Snap-on equipment through hands-on training and rigorous testing,” said LBCC program instructor Bryan Schiedler.

Four separate Snap-On certifications are currently being offered at LBCC: meters, undercar (tire/wheel service), diagnostics and shop management. The program will provide training on Snap-On scan tools, lab scopes, alignment machines, tire machines and related tooling.

LBCC’s certification program will offer evening seminars available to working technicians in Vantage Pro, Solus Pro and Verus starting fall term. Students in the program will have access to current diagnostic tooling and software, developed curriculum for using the equipment, and increased student exposure to scan tools and lab scope technology.

Snap-On Inc., a company recognized industry-wide, provides the curriculum and testing while LBCC provides instruction and training. Most certifications are an eight-hour course held over two evenings.

With this partnership, LBCC has now become part of the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Snap-On certifications are worth something to employers,” said Schiedler. “If the auto technician is already a power-user of the tool, that makes it much easier to put that technician directly to work.”

LBCC also sees the program as an opportunity to cross-train technicians. College programs such as automotive, heavy equipment and mechatronics will be able to share tooling and knowledge.

“There are several systems that make it automotive,” said Schiedler. “But all the advanced systems are electronically controlled, no matter if it is automotive-based, mechatronics-based, or heavy equipment.”

Another goal of NC3, according to Schiedler, is to bring together major partners in industries such as transportation, energy, aviation and manufacturing, know as TEAM. Many skill sets in these industries overlap, giving a trained certified technician a leg-up in several different areas.

In the long run, says Schiedler, NC3 certifications would be advantageous for students by allowing them to switch from one field to another while only having to add a few specific certifications.

LBCC also has taken on a role as a Leadership School for NC3. “We would like to see pathways established in high schools for the more common certifications,” said Schiedler. “Students would then come to LBCC for the more advanced certifications.”

Students in the LBCC Automotive Technology program can earn a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree, or a two-year certificate.

The program prepares students to diagnose, repair and maintain modern automobiles and light trucks including power train systems, steering, suspension and braking systems, electrical systems and electronic controls, automatic transmissions, engine overhaul, air-conditioning service and engine performance. All classes prepare students to pass the ASE certification tests.

Contact: Bryan Schiedler, Automotive Technology instructor, 541-917-4597
schiedb@linnbenton.edu

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