SIC training powersports technicians for the latest technology - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

SIC training powersports technicians for the latest technology

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HARRISBURG -- The technology in today's powersports equipment has taken great leaps in recent years, and Southeastern Illinois College (SIC) in Harrisburg is training students who want to get in the business of keeping those machines in working order.

Instructor Ralph Boots says a lot has changed when it comes to diagnosing and making repairs, "Years ago, we used to have carburetors. We no longer have those. They're fully electronic engines. They're fully fuel injected and they have computer systems and different kinds of systems that you have to maintain with an electronic service tool."

For students like Wyatt Hall those changes are what makes it fun.

"I love learning new things, especially with engines," he said, "It's something I've always enjoyed doing. My grandfather was a mechanic, my uncle is a mechanic, it kind of runs in the family.

With ATVs growing in popularity not only in southern Illinois, but also across the nation, there's also a growing need for trained technicians to work on the high-tech machines.

"We found out that it's not only locally but nationally, there's somewhat of an epidemic of not having enough technicians to fill those jobs," said Boots

He said that need is about to get much worse because the average powersports technician ranges in age from 40 to over 50.

Hall says folks like him are eager to take their place when the time comes.

"We're gearheads. We love messing with motors and engines. Anything about a vehicle, UTV, or ATV is just exciting," said Hall.

With the latest equipment, the first group of students in the new Powersports Technology program will be ready to keep those high-tech ATVs in top shape.

SIC is now enrolling interested students for the program that begins this fall.

SIC has offered Powersports Technology as a certificate program, but this Fall will begin a full degree program for the growing industry.

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