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WyoTech to be featured on cable automotive show

by on May 17, 2014 10:59 AM

Never discount the value of a strong group of alumni.

Wyoming Technical Institute graduates are getting credit for the arrival of a cable television production team at the doorstep of the automotive technology school near Blairsville.

[PHOTO: Anthony Bowen, a student from New Mexico, checked specs to install lifters under the watchful eye of host Dan Woods. (Tom Peel/Gazette)]

Producers of the “Chop Cut Rebuild” show spent two days this week shooting footage of WyoTech students rebuilding the engine of an antique Ford pickup truck for a documentary-style series of shows scheduled to air on the MAVTV network.

The project will centerpiece the 10th season of the program, which takes its viewers into the most sophisticated garages in America to see crack teams of mechanics and body workers restoring and customizing elite cars, trucks and hot rods.

“The host and producer who does these projects saw that almost all have incorporated graduates of WyoTech,” said Art Herman, president of WyoTech’s campus at the Corporate Campus industrial park in Burrell Township. “He was impressed with the work of the graduates and asked if they could do a build here at the school where we train the people to do this work.”

And so “Chop Cut Rebuild” chose both locations of the WyoTech school — the Indiana County branch campus and the main campus in Laramie, Wyo. — to film both stages of the rebirth of a 1953 Ford F-100. Students in the Blairsville-area school rebuilt the engine on Monday and Tuesday, and the body and chassis will be overhauled next for the cameras in Laramie, said Paul Dominick, the performance power train instruction coordinator at the local campus.

Dominick said it’s not new territory for WyoTech.

“We have had other shows come in to shoot footage for cable channels,” so the school knew how to organize the work and get the shoot done quickly, Dominick said. “We had everything laid out, ready to go, and we just made it happen.”

Herman said the motor was a short block, with pistons, rods and the crankshaft already assembled. The oil pan, manifold and electronics had to be added to complete the overhaul.

And it was more than just WyoTech’s modern tools, equipment and facilities that helped to make a fascinating storyline for the TV show, Herman said.

“It’s not just the skill set but the professionalism of our students,” he said. “They’re taught here to succeed in every way in this industry: they learn to show up to work on time, to dress professionally, to have a cooperative attitude, to play by the rules, deliver superior customer service and work with honesty. These are the soft skills that we emphasize at WyoTech.”

The 1953 Ford F-100 symbolizes a lot in the automotive industry. It represents the days when America was seen as a world leader in auto design and production.

This Ford truck, once it’s finished and the TV cameras are gone, will turn into a symbol of WyoTech’s leadership in automotive technology education, according to Herman.

“It will be paraded around the country to show potential students what we do at WyoTech,” he said. “We’ll take it to major car shows and have it on tour for the next year.”

The “Chop Cut Rebuild” episodes featuring WyoTech students’ work are scheduled to premiere in July in the U.S.

Chauncey Ross is the Gazette’s fixture at Indiana Area and Homer-Center school board meetings, has been seen with pen and notepad in area police stations and courts, and is something of an Open Records Act and Sunshine Law advocate. He also manages the Gazette’s websites and answers your questions about them.
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