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MTC student says his education gives him power in the job market

East County's Evan Bouthillier is graduating from the diesel system technician program with plans to continue learning.

East County’s Evan Bouthillier receives hands-on experience in Manatee Technical College's diesel systems technician program by working on Manatee County Search and Rescue vehicles. Bouthillier hopes to become a master mechanic.
East County’s Evan Bouthillier receives hands-on experience in Manatee Technical College's diesel systems technician program by working on Manatee County Search and Rescue vehicles. Bouthillier hopes to become a master mechanic.
Photo by Liz Ramos
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East County’s Evan Bouthillier always wanted to fix issues with his Ford F-150, but he didn’t know how. 

As a senior in high school, he started working at Valvoline as a lube technician in 2019. He appreciated the experience and the opportunity to learn about multiple types of makes and models of vehicles. 

But he wanted more.

After doing some research and hearing positive feedback regarding Manatee Technical College’s diesel systems technician program, Bouthillier decided to enroll. 

When MTC hosts graduation for its programs June 26 and June 27 at its main campus, Bouthiller will be celebrating his ability to now fix not only his own car but other medium- and heavy-duty vehicles as well after completing the diesel systems technician program.

Bouthillier said he’s grateful for the experience he gained. 

“Knowledge is power, and the connections get you there faster,” Bouthillier said. 

Although between jobs at the moment, Bouthillier said the connections he has made through Adam Green, the diesel systems technician program instructor, has opened doors for him. He is taking the time to find the job that is the best fit for him because diesel mechanics are in high demand. 

East County’s Evan Bouthillier has enjoyed working on bigger vehicles and getting hands-on experience through Manatee Technical College's diesel systems technician program.
Photo by Liz Ramos

Bouthillier’s on-the-job training with Sun State International in Sarasota gave him hands-on experience to prepare him for his next job. 

“(Sun State International) is never doing the same thing twice,” he said. “I loved the jack-of-all-trades kind of work I was doing. If I do the same thing repetitively, I get bored quickly. I constantly want to be working and learning new things.”

Bouthillier said he was confident knowing that Green was working to get him a job.

“It gives you a sense of security,” he said. “I’m in the process of finding a job that fits me. There’s always going to be work, and I will always have a place to go. Because of how I performed as a student and the amount of certifications I built up on top of my (Commercial Driver License), I’m coming out in the top echelon of this group. I have so much available to me, it’s honestly a little bit mind boggling.”

Throughout his training in the program, Bouthillier worked on various vehicles, including light medium tactical vehicles from Manatee County Search and Rescue. He said working on the light medium tactical vehicle was one of his favorites because of its “phenomenal power.”

“The power that vehicle holds is absolutely invigorating,” he said. “It is so cool to understand how each one of these vehicles takes a diesel engine and uses it for its own benefit. … All the vehicles at our disposal really open the mind. It’s so fantastic to learn about so many different types of systems.”

Bouthillier said working on the various engines available in the diesel program and figuring out how they work was like magic. 

“I’ve come to appreciate the amount of work it takes to put these magic boxes together,” he said, referencing the engines. 

Bouthillier's skills were put to the test during the SkillsUSA competition in April in Jacksonville. He was one of six diesel systems technician program students who participated in the competition. Bouthillier placed third at the state level. 

MTC diesel students were competing against students from diesel programs across the state that have been running for years. MTC started its diesel program in October 2022. 

With graduation around the corner, Bouthillier is focused on the future. He wants to continue to expand his knowledge and experience. 

He said one of his goals is to pursue his automotive service excellence certifications, which are certifications to work on medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The diesel systems technician program provides the opportunity for students to earn two of the eight potential certifications. Bouthillier wants to pursue at least five of the other six certifications. 

With seven of the eight certifications, Bouthillier can become a master mechanic. 

“If you have the master mechanic certification under your belt, you can go pretty much anywhere and ask for pretty much anything,” he said. 

He said he would like to become a mobile mechanic because that can lead to him starting his own business. He said mobile mechanics have to be “the best of the best” as they can’t rely on the resources and safety of a shop. 

“I definitely want to get to that type of status and be able to handle myself regardless of what I’m doing,” he said.



Liz Ramos

Liz Ramos covers education and community for East County. Before moving to Florida, Liz was an education reporter for the Lynchburg News & Advance in Virginia for two years after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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