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Worku Muche

Worku Muche poses in his shop

Worku Muche

Title: Owner, EZ Tire & Auto Service

STLCC Program: Automotive Technology

Years Attended: 2017–2019

Worku transformed his life when he earned a degree in automotive technology and used that knowledge to start his own shop. Now, he and his shop are transforming his community by helping immigrants feel welcome and at home when their cars need to be repaired.

Q&A with Worku

Q: What degree did you earn at STLCC?

A: I studied automotive technology at the Forest Park campus and graduated in 2019 with my associate degree.

Q: What are you doing career-wise now, and what does your position entail?

A: I have my own auto mechanic repair shop. I have to be everywhere and manage it from top to bottom. I handle the business side and management, oversee car repairs and work on cars myself. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about your current role?

A: My favorite thing about my business is that people count on me. When someone brings a broken car in, I make the repairs and see they’re happy that their vehicle is fixed—it’s very satisfying.

Q: How did your life journey lead you to where you are today?

A: I’ve liked working with my hands since I was a kid, so the automotive industry seemed like something I would enjoy doing. I decided to leave a full-time job at a gas station to go to school for automotive technology, but I knew it would benefit me in the long run. It’s all about the long term.

Q: How would you say your chosen career path is “transforming” the community?

A: It’s just about being available. We’re not doing anything special, but we are providing more services and more options. If they like our repairs, they’ll come back next time. I want to do my best to have the customers come back. 

I also have a community of people in St. Louis from my home country of Ethiopia, and people like to go to people they can trust. My business is open to everyone, obviously. But people from Ethiopia come because I can explain things to them in the language that they understand better. That sets me apart from other repair shops.

Q: How important was having St. Louis Community College as a resource?

A: I like it because of the variety of trades the College offers. Anyone can go in there, study one thing, and have a good job in a year or two. I knew nothing about cars before I went to college. I was into electronics before, but I transitioned into the automotive business.

STLCC opened the door for me right away because, a couple of months after I started, Firestone came in and recruited students. I worked at Firestone while going to school and got to practice what I was learning.

I tell people the school is excellent for a lot of things. I get to meet people who come to this country trying to figure out what they want to do. I will often pull up the College’s website and show them all the options available.

Q: How did STLCC support and prepare you for where you are today?

A: The one thing that I didn't expect to gain was training that expands beyond fixing cars. They taught us everything that we could be doing in the automotive industry. One thing was starting an automotive business. We had a project where we started a company to see what the processes were and the things we needed to get started. Opening my own business was not on my mind during the project, but doing that preparation helped when I decided to open EZ Tire & Auto Service.

Q: What was your favorite thing about attending STLCC?

A: My favorite thing was how hands-on the program was. I knew I was going to learn something new every day and be able to apply it. It was really fun because we worked on cars and constantly learned new things. I was curious and hungry for knowledge; my classes fulfilled that desire to learn.

Q: Do you have a memorable class or professor you’d like to shout out?

A: All the staff was good, but Joe Jackson was memorable. He made class interesting, explained things well, and constantly pushed us to challenge ourselves and improve our skills.

I'm not as good at written tests as practical ones. When I started, he knew I had no idea what was going on with cars, but he understood I was learning fast. I didn't do well on a test once, but he talked through it with me and told me he noticed my progress and improvements where it counts. He encouraged me, and that helped me in the future.

Q: What advice would you give someone considering your career path?

A: They have to want it—don't jump in just to try it out. Automotive technology is a great industry if you put your mind to it and want to learn everything you can.

Q: What would you say to students considering community college?

A: I've told others that it's a really good college. You can change your life by going there—literally. Before I went there, I was someone else. I didn't have any skills when it came to cars. I wasn't as valuable to society. Now, I know something that people will always need assistance with, and I feel important to society. People need a mechanic, and it's nice to be needed.

That's how St. Louis Community College can change your life.


Explore Transportation Degrees at STLCC

Get ready to hit the road with a certificate in truck driving, or turn your tinkering into a full-time, hands-on career with a degree in automotive or diesel technology.

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