McCuistian achieves 25 years as highly certified mechanic
Published 1:15 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Richard McCuistian, automotive mechanics faculty at LBW Community College in Opp, recently achieved a 25-year mark as being Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified.
His milestone achievement will be featured in the January issue of Motor Age magazine.
“This level of continuous certification certainly demonstrates Mr. McCuistian’s commitment to excellence and we are proud how he incorporates the need to excel in his teaching,” said LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel.
Reflecting on his 40-year career in automotive mechanics, McCuistian said a lot has changed with vehicle motors.
“My biggest challenge through the years has been staying abreast of changing technologies as electronics began to take root in virtually every part of the vehicle,” he said.
Most of his career he spent in dealership service departments and could stay current through manufacturer specific training. Now that he is teaching, he seeks information to help him stay up-to-date on more common makes and models.
His interest in mechanics stemmed from childhood and his father’s shop.
“From the time I was about four years old, I’ve always been drawn to grease, steel, sparks, switches, gears and bearings, hand cleaner, colorful cardboard boxes with new parts in them, and all the rest of it,” he said.
“I love using tools and I love fixing and maintaining vehicles – fixing leaks, misfires, noises, and all the rest of that, too.”
He said he also likes the computers and gathering data to sort out a problem, and especially enjoys when he makes the connection between the data and the fix.
“Most of all, nowadays, I love passing what I know along to the younger generation. We need new blood in this industry now more than ever before and I like being a part of that process.”
His advice to the younger generation is they must “exhibit performance, a good attitude, great integrity, and bulletproof dependability.” He also advises sharing their knowledge so they can better understand it themselves, and to work smart and seek answers to problems.
Training is vital to mechanics, he said, and ASE certification is a mechanic’s credentials.
“Without training, you’re flying blind. Without ASE certification, you have no real credentials to show prospective employers that you are serious about your career choice.”
Some shops actually require the ASE certification before a technician is hired, he added.
“I would not have been employable as a NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation) program instructor here at the college without ASE certification.”
McCuistian holds 11 certifications: A1-A8, light vehicle diesel, L1 advanced level engine performance, and G1.