MARIETTA, OH (May 1, 2018)—Motorcycles have come a long way from two-cycle engines that produce 2.5 horsepower. In today’s market, there are superbikes charged with 1400 cc engines cranking up 160 HP. As fast as those bikes move, the industry is moving and growing even faster. To keep those machines honed and running optimally requires expert training—training that is now available at Washington State Community College (WSCC).
While it was the motorcycle that launched the Powersports industry, they now account for only a portion of what keeps it growing—ATVs and UTV now round out the market to include all-terrain enthusiasts. As the desire for these machines accelerates so does the need for qualified, educated technicians. Responding to this need, WSCC is launching its new Powersports Technician program.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Ohio has the 5th highest employment level for these specialized mechanics. “The jobs are there, good paying jobs, we just need to provide the market with qualified technicians,” said Joe Nutter, Program Director of the Auto Diesel program at WSCC. He went onto explain that graduates will be able to earn up to an estimated $15 per hour, a figure that has the potential to double in only a few short years.
Until now, students seeking to gain this type of training had limited options and none within a reasonable commuting distance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. “There’s nothing like this program available in our area,” confirmed Nutter. “The closest school is in Cleveland and, quite frankly, that school is a very costly option. Washington State is offering the same training for about a tenth of the cost,” he concluded.
Currently, WSCC is setting up a shop where students will get hands-on experience working on engines of motorcycles, ATVs, and UTVs. “Our shop will be equipped with top-of-the-line professional Snap-On Tools and we will be training them on equipment from a variety of manufacturers for everything from dual sport to side-by-sides and more,” said Nutter.
The curriculum will emphasize basic electrical theory and components, described Nutter. The program will be offered so that students can earn a one-year Powersports Technician certificate and have the option to continue their coursework to receive an associate degree in Technical Studies.
WSCC’s decision to expand into Powersports is based on the community’s need, which was brought to the college’s attention by its advisory committee members, comprised of local business owners active in the industry. “A skilled Powersports Tech is worth their weight in oil,” said Les Wolfe, advisory board member and Service Manager of Big Four Motorsports in Marietta. “Dealer’s in our area are currently seeking qualified technicians to improve the service to their customers.”
Enrollment is currently underway with classes starting in August. For additional information, students can contact Joe Nutter at 740.885.5664 or go online at wscc.edu.
For more than 45 years, Washington State Community College has provided residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to realize dreams, to enhance skills, and to broaden understanding. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to move your life in a new direction, Washington State has the classes to suit your needs. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.