When Andy Osborn was in high school thinking of his future career, he wasn’t sure what direction his life would take. He knew for certain he liked to work with his hands, but he had no idea what was in store.
The opportunity arose to take courses in automotive technology part-time while finishing his high school classes. Osborn signed up to start learning the ins and outs of the automotive industry at Clover Park Technical College for the first time in the 1980s, but little did he know that the decision would set him on to a lifelong path working with cars and electronics.
Osborn was reassured early on that CPTC was a good fit for his educational needs and setting himself up for career success. He was appreciative of not only the expansive automotive knowledge his instructors were able to provide and their emphasis on being detail-oriented, but also their support of career development overall.
“One memory that really stands out happened as I was getting close to graduating and thinking about a career in auto. An instructor took me to a Chevy dealership in Olympia he was familiar with and introduced me to everyone,” Osborn said.
After high school, Osborn took a year off but returned to CPTC to complete an apprenticeship program. He wanted to see where the automotive industry would take him and planned on later working towards his journeyman card.
“I always enjoyed working on cars and fixing things. I knew I’d always be able to make a living working on cars,” Osborn said.
In 1984 he began working for the University Place School District, taking care of the automotive needs of the buses. He decided to get hands-on experience working for the school district while completing the training for his journeyman card, but didn’t stop looking for new opportunities.
A few years later he saw a newspaper ad for a job at a hot rod shop. He decided to go for the position even though it was something he had never done before.
He got the position and was able to further his skills in custom car work until another new role sparked his interest. The position was with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources building fire trucks. Following this role, Osborn became more and more interested in electronics and knew just where to go to further his education in this ever-changing field. His continued education at CPTC led him into his current role as a communications systems manager.
However, it was his early job in that hot rod that shop inspired a life-long love of working on custom cars. Osborn now owns and operates Rule Garage with his son in downtown Tacoma.
Osborn said that his education at CPTC still has a positive impact on his life and he’s proud to work with his son and pass along his knowledge to a new generation.
“It continues to be challenging. Every new project that comes in the door has different issues,” Osborn said. “At the end of the day, I’m still learning and excited to see what comes through the door.”
To learn more about Rule Garage visit www.rulegarage.com.
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