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BRCC’s Automotive Analysis and Repair: A Career to Go Places With

Wed Feb 21, 2018 at 02:07 PM

Ben Sheffer '13Ben Sheffer was not in the fast lane in pursuit of a career working on cars. You might even say he spun his wheels a bit. But when he finally decided to go for it, he persisted through a grueling schedule of factory work on the third shift, and a full class load, to earn his diploma in 2013 in BRCC’s Automotive Analysis and Repair program.

Tom Mayer, the program director at the time, told Ben “you give me two years...and I'll give you a career you can go anywhere with."

“He basically told me what would be required and warned me that I would be at a greater disadvantage than everyone else,” Ben recalls of his first conversation with Mayer. “He was right, it was ridiculously difficult.” But his hard work paid off in a great sense of accomplishment.

Ben had enjoyed the time he spent with a friend who worked on cars, and he had thought about it as a career right after high school but didn’t pursue it.

“I did always enjoy working with my hands, and when I was young I would always find things that I could take apart and try to figure out how they worked,” Ben notes.

Ben is employed at Jim Snead Quick Lane in Waynesboro, where his job “entails a little bit of everything.” One day might be any regular service like oil changes or tire rotations. Another might be filled with suspension and steering components, water pumps, drive shafts, timing chains, the list goes on. The instruction at BRCC prepared him well.

“The instructors did everything they could to drill the principles and concepts of what was being taught deep into our heads, and that set the foundation for more specific knowledge to follow that comes in further brand-specific training,” Ben says.

“You’re going to get your money’s worth [at BRCC] and you have the opportunity to learn far more than most people that go to technical schools IF you apply yourself. You’re only going to be as good as what you put into your education in the automotive program,” says Ben.

The best parts of his experience at BRCC are the friendships he made and the quality of the education. One of the best life lessons was not to give up because not everything is going to be a quick fix.

“Be humble, because if you are, the more experienced techs will help you and teach you valuable things that you don't know,” Ben notes. “Learn from your mistakes and admit them.”