Automotive grad makes ‘PACT’ to earn customers’ trust
by Alain Johnson
Automotive technology management student
A graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s automotive technology: Honda PACT emphasis major, Alain Johnson is straddling two worlds: sharing through his day job what he has learned, while working toward adding a degree to his toolkit.
It’s not the first time his feet have been planted in multiple locations. He lived in the Caribbean through adolescence, nurturing an appreciation for the sound and speed of automobiles, then immigrated to the United States in pursuit of that childhood passion.
And through it all, faculty characterize him as a “great success story, excelling at everything he has attempted.”
Alain recently answered our questions about his career path, his workplace philosophy and his advice for tomorrow’s automotive technicians:
What type of work do you do?
I am a Technical Training Instructor for American Honda Motor Co.
What is a typical day like?
My typical day is spent delivering technical training to Honda and Acura technicians
What is the most rewarding project you’ve worked on?
The most rewarding project I’ve been a part of since being with American Honda is representing the company as an automotive judge at the Colorado and National Skills USA competitions in 2019.
When did you first fall in love with automotive technology?
I fell in love with cars at a very young age. I grew up in Jamaica for the first 15 years of my life. A good portion of those years were spent living in Toll Gate, Clarendon, roughly an hour away from Kingston, Jamaica. My home was located along the main road, where I often heard and saw many trucks, cars, tractors and heavy-duty motor vehicles passing by. My cousins and I would always try to race the vehicles passing by either by running or riding our bicycles as fast as possible. As you can probably guess, we would always end up on the losing end. As I got older, I would spend summer breaks from school at my grandparents’ home in Kingston and would spend my days at a friend of the family’s mechanic shop nearby. I believe my time at the shop was the beginning of my love for automotive technology. When I moved to the United States in 2008, my mother asked me what kind of work I wanted to do when I graduated from school and I told her I wanted to work on cars. At that point, my mother decided to enroll me in Automotive High School in Brooklyn, New York.
Any advice for automotive technology students?
To all the automotive students, my advice to you is to always do right by your customers no matter what role you play. The experiences you have with others will ultimately have an impact on your success within your career.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
My favorite aspect of my job is being able to teach and contribute to making every technician better at their craft.
How do you think Penn College helped prepare you to excel in the automotive industry?
Penn College played an important role to my success thus far. The Honda PACT program prepared me with the skill sets for diagnosing different issues that I may experience in the service shop, from thought processes to hands-on perspectives. The Honda PACT Program equipped me with all the necessary skills that I needed to be successful in the industry.