SOWELA’s Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Technology Program Adds Three Vehicles to Training Fleet

The Program Aims to Increase Hands-on Electronics Training with New Scan Tools, Tire Mounting Machine and Alignment Machine

(Lake Charles, Louisiana – April 17, 2023)

SOWELA Technical Community College recently added three vehicles to its growing training fleet for the Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technology program. New cars include an F-150, Jeep Cherokee and Toyota Camry, bringing the program’s total fleet to six with plans to add a hybrid vehicle.

“Each vehicle was purchased with a specific purpose in mind,” said Program Coordinator Thomas Richard. “For the first time, our program has a four-wheel drive truck, so students can gain hands-on training when we cover that section in the curriculum, and the Jeep and Toyota give students an up-close look at domestic versus import cars.”

According to Car and Driver, electronics account for 40 percent of the cost of a new car. “It’s why we now call individuals who work on cars technicians instead of mechanics,” said Richard. “While our students learn basic mechanics, such as oil changes and tire rotation, much of their training is focused on electronic systems because computers in vehicles are getting more and more advanced.”

SOWELA’s two-year Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technology program prepares students to service and maintain all types of automobiles, including diagnosis of malfunctions and the repair of engines and the analysis of fuel, electrical, cooling, brake systems, drive train and suspension systems. The curriculum prepares students to test for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the typical salary for an automotive service technician is $20/hour, and up to $54/hour for an experienced service manager. Both positions are in-demand in Southwest Louisiana.

SOWELA is currently registering for the Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technology program. Scholarships and financial aid are available for those who qualify. For more information or to register, contact SOWELA’s One Stop Enrollment Office at (337) 421-6550 or email

About SOWELA Technical Community College

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 85 years.

3820 Senator J. Bennett Johnston Avenue
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70615
(337) 421-6565
(800) 256-0483

Mon-Thu: 7:45 AM to 4:15 PM
Friday: 7:45 AM to 12:00 PM
(337) 421-6550

SOWELA Technical Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person(s) have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies:

Title IX Officer

Candy Parker

(337) 421-6510 or (800) 256-0483

3820 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

ADA Officer

Maegan Lewis

(337) 421-6952 or (800) 256-0483

3850 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

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