Trent Olson (left), owner of Flagstaff Subaru, congratulates Jared Szczepanski for being the first DMACC Automotive Technology student to graduate from Subaru-U. Szczepanski has been hired as a full-time automotive technician at Flagstaff Subaru in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Jared Szczepanski says DMACC has given him the education and training to succeed in the workplace
DMACC helped Szczepanski transition from the U.S. Air Force to civilian life.
Pandemic and his wife accepting a job 1,300 miles away did not deter Szczepanski from his goal.
Szczepanski is on the fast track toward becoming Senior Master Subaru Certified as an Automotive Technician.
A military veteran persevered through a pandemic and his wife accepting a job out-of-state to complete his DMACC Automotive Technology Associate Degree and become the first DMACC Subaru-U graduate.
Szczepanski said when he was nearing the end of his enlistment with the
U.S. Air Force, he was looking for opportunities in the automotive
He said everywhere he looked pointed him to DMACC with their numerous programs and outstanding testimonials.
an active-duty service member transitioning to the civilian workforce,
the DMACC Automotive program and staff made this normally stressful
process easy and enjoyable," Szczepanski said. “The amount of resources
and material given to me was more than enough to ensure my start in the
program would be successful and rewarding."
Szczepanski, an alum of Winona Senior High School in Winona, Minn., said he
always had a passion for Subaru engineering and heritage, and was
excited to get the ball rolling when first told about the Subaru-U
offering at DMACC.
This unique partnership between Subaru and
DMACC allows students to learn and receive specific training related
towards Subaru vehicles.
“Students who choose to work at a
Subaru dealership after completing the DMACC Automotive Technology
program will leave with Subaru certifications," said Jerry Burns, DMACC
Automotive Programs Chair. “When they graduate from Subaru-U, they will
possess the required skills needed to be an entry-level technician and
be able to work on today's technology-advanced Subaru vehicles."
Szczepanski said he then started completing the Subaru online courses alongside his in-person classes at DMACC.
online Subaru courses actually complimented the Automotive Mechanics
Technology courses quite well, and I was able to bring my questions and
understandings from the Subaru courses into class and get further
perspective from my DMACC instructors," Szczepanski said.
wife accepted at job at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff,
Ariz., in June of 2019. Szczepanski said he then started looking for
potential career opportunities in the area. While in the middle of both
his DMACC Automotive Technology courses and Subaru-U courses, he reached
out to Flagstaff Subaru owner Trent Olson, who in turn encouraged
Szczepanski to keep him updated with his progress.
COVID-19 pandemic forced DMACC to transition to online learning,
Szczepanski said he decided to head to Arizona to be with his wife
instead of attending online lectures from his one-bedroom apartment in
He said when DMACC Automotive instructors Jeff Calkin and
Shane Boots were able to get back into the lab for hands-on training,
he immediately flew back to Iowa to get a better grasp on the advanced
material through in-person learning.
“With the pandemic in full
effect, I was not able to participate in the Subaru internship at all,
but I was still able to obtain my associate degree," Szczepanski said.
graduating from the DMACC Automotive Technology program and completing
all of his Level I and Level II Subaru-U online courses, Szczepanski
said he again contacted Flagstaff Subaru Owner Trent Olson. Olson, along
with Service Manager Mike Labunetz, conducted a phone interview with
"After all was said and done, Olson decided to take a
chance on me, knowing I had zero 'real-world' shop experience,"
He then packed his tool box and belongings in a
15-foot U-Haul and moved to Arizona to be with his wife and hopefully
start his new career.
“Service Manager Mike Labunetz moved me into my new work bay and immediately gave me repair orders," Szczepanski said.
"With my DMACC acquired knowledge, along with Subaru-U training, I was
able to complete the majority of my repair orders with little to no
assistance from fellow technician, and I was able to completely shatter
my 90-day expectations within the first two weeks."
He said he is
now into his third month of employment at Flagstaff Subaru and is on the
absolute fast track for becoming Senior Master Subaru Certified.
a day goes by where I do not apply the knowledge gained from my DMACC
program, and I know I would not be where I am today without it,"
Szczepanski said. “DMACC has truly given me every tool I need to
succeed, from knowledgeable instructors, modern equipment and real-world
In addition to the new Subaru-U program, the DMACC
Automotive Technology program has manufacturer partnerships with General
Motors for the GM Automotive Service Education Program (ASEP), Ford with the Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) program, Fiat Chrysler with the MOPAR College Automotive Program (CAP) and Honda with Honda Professional Automotive Career Training (PACT).
To learn more, visit auto.dmacc.edu.
For more information, contact: Jerry Burns, (515) 964-6504, email@example.com, or Jared Szczepanski, (507) 450-6237