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From taking care of people to taking care of trucks

Gateway gives student skills to begin new career, support family

Chad McGinnis

Chad McGuinnis knew a career shift was in order.

And the first thing on that order was to enroll at Gateway Technical College.

Chad was working as a nurse, but realized after a few years that the medical field didn’t fit him. He decided on a career shift, and a large one at that – from nurse to diesel mechanic.

He turned to Gateway to gain the skills to enter his new career. He knew little about being a diesel technician but did know that he needed structured training to succeed.

“I was not satisfied in nursing. I have always enjoyed fixing things, and my wife said ‘why don’t you think about the automotive field? You seem happiest when you’re fixing cars.’ I felt that there was a greater need for diesel mechanics and chose to go into that program.

“I didn’t know anything about diesel. I wanted the challenge, wanted to learn how to work on diesel engines, but knew I needed a degree to do that. That’s when I enrolled in Gateway.”

Chad said he chose Gateway because of its solid reputation. “Gateway has the best program. I’ve heard that and I believe it. The Horizon Center is known nationally, renowned for its diesel programs.”

His studies went well. Chad earned his Diesel Equipment Technology associate degree and an Diesel Equipment technical diploma and has already landed a position at an area company, working in their diesel truck fleet. It was the same company that he did an internship with – and, after it was completed, they asked him to stay on as a full-time employee.

“Everything I learn here is completely applicable to the field. I use it every day,” says Chad. “There are things my instructor has taught me that he’s learned over the years in the field that I can use to be successful. He brings that experience in the classroom and show me how I can do my job even better.

“It will allow me to do something I enjoy doing and enable me to support my family while doing it. I will be living a far more fulfilled life than I would have otherwise.”

- Chad McGuinnis

“I’m working to gain a career in which I can support my family, and Gateway is helping me to do that.”

Chad is convinced he made the right choice for himself and his family.

“It will allow me to do something I enjoy doing and enable me to support my family while doing it. I will be living a far more fulfilled life than I would have otherwise.”