As a SUNY Morrisville automotive technology A.A.S. student in the Mopar Career Automotive Program (MCAP), Zachery Ward '19 knew the skills he was learning would prepare him for a successful future as a certified service technician.
Little did he know that we would set the standard for the next wave of aspiring technicians.
Ward, of Massena, New York, was named the 2019 Mitchell 1/Snap-on Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Technician of the Future after recording the highest test score of all students who registered for the ASE G1 test.
Ward was presented with the honor during the recent ASE Fall Board of Governors Meeting and Annual Technician Awards ceremony, held at The Scott Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ward also received $1,000, a one-year subscription to ProDemand® auto repair software from Mitchell 1, and airfare and hotel accommodations for him and a guest to attend the event.
“I feel honored to have not only received the award but to have also been able to spend time with some of the best technicians in the industry,” Ward said. “To me, the award proves that anything is possible with hard work, and hard work becomes easy when you love what you do.”
Ward certainly loves his line of work. His fascination with repairs and working with his hands began as a child. Working on cars through his high school BOCES program further ignited the passion that led him to pursue a college automotive degree.
“I went on a few college visits and nobody came close to Morrisville in terms of the hands-on experience they provided,” he said. “The professors really sold it for me. They are all passionate about being able to educate students and to experiment and constantly learn with the students.”
The option to enter into Morrisville’s MCAP program “sealed the deal” for Ward. The program provides students the opportunity to earn manufacture-specific credentials with laboratory activities on current production vehicles and also receive direct experience through internships.
Ward performed a summer internship with Parkway Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Canton, New York, where he now works fulltime as an automotive technician.
“I do a lot of electrical work in the shop because of the hands-on experience I received at Morrisville, and I take on tougher jobs that other techs wouldn’t be able to do because of the work I did in the Mopar program,” he said.
Associate Professor Ronald Alexander, who heads MCAP at SUNY Morrisville, praised Ward’s commitment to his craft.
“Zachery was focused and driven to accomplish his goals as a technician with manufacture credentials, and his choice to participate in MCAP shows his commitment to his future,” he said. “I have received nothing but the highest feedback from his sponsoring dealer and service manager. He is on his way to becoming a very valuable technician for Mopar.”
Ward, who served as a resident assistant during three of his four semesters at Morrisville, is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree online and hopes to obtain a master’s degree with the goal of becoming an automotive professor.
“We congratulate Zach on being named the 2019 Technician of the Future,” said Nick DiVerde, Mitchell 1 senior marketing director, via press release. “His accomplishments have demonstrated his commitment to excelling in his chosen field and we know he will be successful in his future endeavors.”