Nick McClain & Emre Sen

Nick McClain & Emre Sen: Sharing a Love of VWs, a Common Language, and a Great Boss!

Nick McClain and Emre Sen standing in the automobile repair garage at the SEARS Auto Center.
DORS Consumers Nick McClain and Emre Sen both graduated from DORS’ Workforce & Technology Center (WTC) automotive training programs.

When asked why he choose the Auto Detailing program Emre answered with a smile: “Because I love anything to do with cars…especially VWs!”

Nick graduated from WTC’s Automotive Technician program and says that he shares Emre’s love of VWs. They also share the same employer; both work at the SEARS Auto Center in Hagerstown where Nick is a Certified Technician and Emre is an Express Technician. And they share a common language, American Sign Language (ASL), because both Emre and Nick are deaf.

When asked about hiring employees who are deaf, Auto Center Manager Craig Montoya says he did not hesitate. “I would tell other businesses not to worry about communication issues…these are things that can be worked through… Everyone here has learned a basic way to communicate [with Emre and Nick].” Craig also says that both young men are an asset to the business. “They tend to work very hard… and they got a good start because DORS and Karen [Karen Love-Hanes, DORS vocational rehabilitation counselor for the deaf] supplied interpreters so they could learn the policies and procedures for the facility.”

Craig has taken some extra steps on his own to improve workplace communication by signing-up for ASL classes at Deafnet. “And now Nick spends time helping me practice my ASL.” Nick says he is happy to help and that other co-workers are also learning to use some basic ASL. “It’s fun to help them with it.”

Both Nick and Emre say that DORS helped them achieve some of their professional goals. Emre says that Automotive Instructor Doug Pindell was especially helpful. “Doug really helped me learn all the things I needed to do for detailing and some technical work…I’m also grateful for the support with communicating at home.” Emre says that he is glad that DORS offered a training program that allowed him to work with automobiles. “I just love cars, so when DORS offered [this] training, I just went down that path…[and now] I love working here!”