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When Angel Lopez enrolled in the New Community/ Ford Motor Co. Automotive Technician Training Program, he knew he would have an advantage when it came to job hunting because the course is approved by the giant automaker. Things happened even faster than he envisioned, however.
“I applied on a Monday, was called in for an interview on Tuesday and by Wednesday I was hired to work,” said Lopez of how he ended up with an entry-level technician position at Jersey City Ford in Jersey City.
Lopez, who graduated from the New Community/Ford Motor Co. Automotive Technician Training program on April 19th, was hired on April 2nd, even before he donned his cap and gown. His supervisor, Peter Barone, called him a hard worker with a good attendance record and someone who is always on time.
“He’s a quick learner too,” he said of Lopez, who lives in Union City.
At Jersey City Ford, Lopez is a “C-Tech” who handles everything from oil changes and tire rotations to diagnostic work.
“I’ve always liked to work on cars,” he said, taking a break from working on a white Ford Mustang. “Ever since I was small, I used to work on cars with my father. I like taking cars apart and putting them back together.”
He said the New Community program prepared him well for his current job, citing the Ford Motor modules he had to learn prior to this graduation, covering everything from air conditioning and refrigeration to brakes and engines.
“Angel was a dedicated student both in the classroom and out in the shop,” said Ed Netherland, head instructor for the program. “He was always willing to take on new projects or help a student with their vehicle. I feel Angel will do well in a dealership, being self-motivated and already having a good automotive background from attending the school.”
For Lopez, an automotive career certainly beats what he was doing prior to enrolling in the New Community program.
“I was an assistant funeral director,” said Lopez, a single father of two. “I didn’t like that career. It was so depressing. I needed to turn my life around.”