Auto Grad Earns Most ASE Certifications in 50-year History of School

Joaquin Ochoa at MTI

Automotive Service Technology student Joachin Ochoa is graduating from Manatee Technical Institute on June 29 with the distinction of earning the greatest number of ASE certifications of any student in the school’s 50-year history.

His MTI certificate and ASE certifications recently earned him a position as a VW technician with Suncoast Motorsports, Porsche-Audi-Volkswagen. The certification exams he has passed qualify him as an ASE Certified Master Technician and Advanced Engine Performance Specialist.

Ochoa has earned 10 certifications from ASE, which is short for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. An independent non-profit, ASE is the most well-known organization certifying automotive professionals.

Until this year, the most certifications an MTI student had earned were nine. When asked about the distinction of earning the most certifications, Ochoa humbly replied, “If you do the right thing by studying and applying yourself, you can pass the tests.”

Ochoa, 34, worked in the automotive industry for over 10 years before he was laid off in 2012. He was happy to be able to return to school through the Workforce Investment Act. “I was maxed out at $11 per hour without certifications,” he explained.

While a student at MTI, Ochoa placed first at SkillsUSA competitions, was recognized as a student of the year, and qualified as a member of the National Technical Honor Society.

Ochoa drove from Venice to MTI every day from January 2013 to June 2014. He continued making the drive even after his benefits ended in December.

“I loved the opportunity to further my education at MTI,” he said with a smile. “It’s one of many blessings bestowed on me.”

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