FAST Club fixes to produce well-rounded automotive technicians

Fast doesn’t just mean speed for the Pierce College FAST Club, though it certainly is an important quality for the members as they build and repair motor vehicles.

The FAST Club, Future Automotive Service Technicians, was established in 2012 by Tom Fortune to bring support to the automotive department, by raising funds and awareness as well as guidance to students interested in the field.

“The main objective is to show all these students what this is all about, give them a career path, and give them the ins and outs of the business to be able to go in the field and be successful.” President of FAST Club Jose Barrera said.

Pierce College students can complete an associate’s degree in automotive technology, through a transfer agreement with Cal State L.A. receiving a four-year degree in industrial technology.

“You gain the knowledge here to fix things and now you get the knowledge on how to create things,” Barrera said. “We are trying to get rid of all those bad stereotypes that we as automotive technicians have and build up on our reputation.”

The FAST Club tries to connect with the automotive community through events such as Supercar Sunday, held every Sunday in Woodland Hills as they gather together sharing their passion for the automotive and motorsports enthusiasts.

“I see it as a ‘support group’ for other people who love automotives,” said automotive technician major Bryan Garcia-Mittre. “It’s taught me a lot and showed me that I can get to some pretty high places by doing what I love.”

Every year the club participates in a toy drive sponsored by Supercar Sunday and hosts their own toy drive at Pierce each year.

“Car guys have a bad reputation,” Barrera said. “You see it all the time on the news ‘racing kills couple’; it’s just a way of showing that we are not all the same. We hold civil events and good can come out of it.”

Although the FAST Club was originally formed to raise funds for the automotive technology department, they have made sure to provide as many resources as they could for their students.

“If you look around the side and the back [of the automotive industry building] there’s no grass,” Barrera said. “There’s just pine needles, dust, and dirt. It’s not being maintained. This corner of the industrial building is neglected.”

Many students belonging to the automotive department thought it was unjust about the conditions around building and sought out a remedy for the problem. Through a union representative, they contacted the necessary people and within a couple of weeks the grass was put in front of the building with an added vending machine near the department.

“People want to come to learn, people want to be here, it’s just a matter of getting the funds, getting the classes up,” Barrera said.

The FAST Club plans to start a petition to regain access to the lot across the street. The members of the club are prepared and willing to do the clean-up themselves. Gaining access to this building will give them more storage and learning space, Barrera said.

FAST Club meets every Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the industrial technology room 3401.