STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Laramie Gordon
AGRA – Cherokee Nation citizen Laramie Gordon is expected to graduate on Nov. 30 from the Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee after completing the adult professional diesel program.
As a student at GCTC, Gordon is learning the ins and outs of semi-trucks and other heavy trucking equipment.
“Its basically the fundamentals of diesel technology today, which internally is the electrical wiring, diagrams, how the engine works and how you can diagnose and troubleshoot it, how the brakes are supported to be set for safety standards, how the suspension works. Basically it just covers semis from front to back. All the systems and components that make them work together to make them safe to go down the road,” he said.
He said he’s always had an interest in working on vehicles. He attempted to attend college to get a bachelor’s degree in engineering, but was forced to withdraw because of student debt. It was then he decided to attend vocational school to get a certification as a technician.
“I’ve always liked mechanic work, but no one wants to give you a job paying anything without some sort of certifications or schooling,” he said.
While at GCTC, Gordon was selected to compete in September in the Technology & Maintenance Council’s FutureTech National Student Technician competition for his interest in medium/heavy duty truck services.
He said the competition gave him a chance to showcase his skills as a diesel technician.
“The competition had like 17 stations set up to test your knowledge on troubleshooting electricals, preventive maintenance, your knowledge of the Recommended Practices Repair manual, ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) testing questions, environmental questions. You went through each station and were given approximately 15 minutes to complete the task and you were scored on that task. I think there were 32 students from across the United States there. This was pretty much the best of the best,” he said.
Gordon walked away with fifth place after tying for fourth place and losing a coin toss. He said he was happy with that and it was a “great opportunity” for him.
Upon graduation, Gordon said he plans to continue his job at Summit Truck Group in Oklahoma City where he has been working for the past six months. He has also enrolled back into college part time where he plans to obtain a degree in business management/human resources to go along with this diesel technician certification. “I hope to eventually go for a service management position at a shop or open my own shop. I’ve been fortunate to be good at what I do.”