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Jalen Thompson turned his love of cars into a career thanks, in part, to New Community Career and Technical Institute (NCCTI). The Automotive Technician program provided him with the skills he needed to secure a job as a car technician at Smythe Volvo in Summit.
Thompson completed the Automotive Technician training program in 2017. He worked for Advance Auto Parts before gaining the necessary knowledge to become a technician at a dealership.
The classroom instruction paired with the hands-on training portion of the Automotive Technician curriculum prepared Thompson for his current job, which he has held for two and a half years.
“The instructors that we had were really good. They knew what they were doing,” Thompson said. “Mr. Winston [Thomas] had a ton of experience and he knew about almost every car. The instructors definitely help you know about the basic theory of cars.”
Although Thompson was nervous about starting a job at a dealership, he said the training he received prepared him well.
“I don’t think I would have been able to do it without going to that program,” he said.
Thompson stood out to NCCTI staff members.
“Jalen is a well spoken and well prepared young man who took advantage of an opportunity that was presented with Volvo,” said NCCTI Director Rodney Brutton. “He had good attendance, good practical hands-on skills and was destined to be a very good automotive technician.”
Lead Automotive Technician Instructor John Zaccheus said Thompson was focused and knew the material.
“He was a very good student,” Zaccheus said. “He came to school every day and he liked to play a leadership role when the other students needed help in class.”
In addition to providing theory and hands-on instruction in various areas of study, NCCTI offers job placement assistance, which Thompson said is important.
“If you don’t have the experience, it’s hard for somebody to take your word for how you work on cars,” he said.
Since completing the Automotive Technician program, Thompson has recommended NCCTI to those who are interested in furthering their careers through training, including his girlfriend who enrolled in a health care program after his suggestion.
“It’s definitely a helpful program,” Thompson said. “I want to thank all the instructors and staff members that helped me along the way.”
NCCTI is an accredited post-secondary career and technical institute that offers the following programs: Automotive Technician, Diesel Technician, Building Trades Specialist, Clinical Medical Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Culinary Arts Specialist and Business and Computer Technologies. Those interested in enrolling should call 973-824-6484 or fill out the intake form. The school is located at 274 South Orange Ave., Newark, with the Training Center that houses Automotive, Diesel and Building Trades programs located at 210 West Bigelow St., Newark.