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News

SPC Air Force Auto…

A St. Philip’s College Transportation Services Technology program alumnus is giving back this week by conducting a unique workforce education workshop for a small, elite group of Air Force members who have traveled worldwide to Military City USA to take his class.
Automotive Lab

SPC Air Force Auto Workshop

A St. Philip’s College Transportation Services Technology program alumnus is giving back this week by conducting a unique workforce education workshop for a small, elite group of Air Force members who have traveled worldwide to Military City USA to take his class.

The 1993 alumnus is college transportation services technology faculty member Joe Valague. Valague is a fulltime faculty member with previous experience as an adjunct faculty member at the college and as a public education instructor at Roosevelt High School (nine years) and McCollum High School (11 years). The students he teaches this week are 11 civilian service members stationed worldwide as automotive technicians to serve patrons of the Air Force's automotive skills centers and hobby shops worldwide.

For nearly 15 years, St. Philip’s College has provided workforce education workshops on diagnosing and servicing autos for the Air Force automotive technicians who help keep Airmen and their families safe with well-maintained cars. Through a contract with the Air Force, the college has offered the one-week class for 10-15 Air Force technicians from defense sites in the United States, Alaska, England and Germany, and two highlights of the program take place when the technicians perform hands-on assessments of vehicles lab Aug. 9 and Aug. 10 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the automotive lab at the college's Applied Science Building at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive.

Military automotive skills centers and hobby shops are do-it-yourself garages set up as a benefit for military, civilian and contract armed forces employees, including Joint Base Lackland. In addition to periodic learning at St. Philip’s College, most of the Air Force technicians are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service and many offer classes in safety orientation, equipment usage, and basic auto/motorcycle maintenance and emergency readiness for family members.

For many of the technicians, their job can entail supporting a bevy of state vehicle inspections, car wash and paint booth maintenance, vehicle resale lot operations, car clubs and taking continuing education from such providers as St. Philip’s College to keep the personally-owned vehicles of armed forces members both safe and roadworthy.

The nearly 15-year-old program has been a significant part of the professional development for these professionals, representing nearly 75 percent of an Air Force technician’s standard 20-year service life. As the technicians have matured, the St. Philip's College program has matured in parallel. After consolidation of Alamo Colleges District continuing education programs, the program for the Air Force is now offered on the St. Philip's College campus through the district's corporate college.

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