Roger Rollins, a technician at Steve Austin’s Auto Group in Bellefontaine, Ohio, has excelled in his career by taking every opportunity to learn from others.
Rollins, an Army veteran who entered service at 17 years old, credits the military for helping him grow up. But his successful career as a technician, he credits to his mentor.
“The reason I am where I am today and I’m at the level that I am is because I was lucky enough to have a shop foreman that I consider one of the best people I’ve ever met, but also probably the best technician,” Rollins said. “I definitely learned more from him in just a few years than what I learned the entire time I was in trade school.”
Now, Rollins, who has been certified as an ASE Master Technician for over 25 years, is the one mentoring the next generation of technicians, but as long as vehicles keep changing, his training never stops.
He has earned the Top 50 Mark of Excellence nationwide award, which recognizes his ongoing training with General Motors with monthly testing. With the support of his dealership, Rollins has traveled around the country for ASE and manufacturer trainings so that he remains current on the vehicles he works on.
Supporting technicians’ continued training is the best way to ensure their success, Rollins noted, especially as more electric vehicles enter the market. The development and progression of vehicles keeps Rollins’ job challenging and exciting.
“Every day is new,” he said. “You learn something new every day.”
The problem-solving is what drew Rollins to the career in the first place. “I always liked working on cars and bicycles,” he said. “I like to tear things apart and put it back together. It’s an accomplishment.”
Beyond the attention of detail required by the technical work, the technician career track attracts people who care about the vehicles. This directly contradicts the misconception that Rollins has heard that people in the automotive business are “out to get you.”
“You have to care about other people’s property,” he said. “We aren’t out to take from anybody, just help.”