Thursday, December 07, 2006

rolling out Magazine

Tommy Lawyer

Automotive Technician, Global Imports BMW

Two weeks ago automotive technician Tommy Lawyer returned from an all expense paid vacation to Ireland, compliments of the corporate office of BMW. Lawyer was awarded the five-day-trip after being recognized as one of the top 10 automotive technicians in the country, according to BMW.

The ranking came as no surprise to the 35-year-old Atlanta Technical College graduate. He has excelled at his profession since he was a student in their Automotive Technology program. Lawyer credits his strong work ethic and solid educational background for his success. “Atlanta Tech laid a good foundation,” Lawyer says. “They kept on me and made sure I did all the schoolwork.”

Lawyer was a recipient of the HOPE scholarship and used it to finance a portion of his education at Atlanta Tech. During the two-year program, in addition to undergoing extensive training in mechanics, he was also required to study general education classes like mathematics, English and psychology.

As a child, Lawyer became fascinated with mechanics because his uncle fixed cars for a living. He says he chose Atlanta Tech because it was close to home and he knew it was a good place to be.

During his second year in the program, BMW’s Metro Step program came to the school and selected him to participate in their unique recruiting program. He spent six months alternating weeks between classes and hands-on training. Lawyer’s superior customer service skills earned him a place as a full time employee at the largest BMW dealership in the city.

Lawyer, who is originally from Savannah, Ga., has worked as a technician for Firestone and Goodyear and says that the opportunity to work for a major car dealership is one of the perks he received because he attended Atlanta Technical College.

An automotive technician who secures a position at a reputable dealership can earn more than $50,000 their first year out of school. Lawyer says, “The atmosphere is better [compared to the normal automotive shop]. We work in the air conditioning. The pay is better and the benefits are better.”

“When you wake up in the morning you don’t have to get mad that you have to go to work and that’s a good feeling,” Lawyer adds. “You get along with everyone that you work with and you know the product. If you know what you’re doing it’s good. You love what you’re doing because you know what you’re doing.” -te-erika patterson

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