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EAC thanks community for participation on vital advisory boards

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EAC thanks community for participation on vital advisory boards

By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ—Thatcher, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s mission and purposes statement includes the following, “The College shall provide programs that meet workforce needs of business industry.” Part of that goal is met by utilizing feedback received from members of the local business community at the College’s annual advisory board committee meetings.

Recently Paul Smith, of Smith and Taylor Automotive in Safford, walked into his 30th consecutive Automotive Advisory Committee meeting. “I told him he could retire after 30,” quipped Brian Coppola, Industrial Technical Education Division chair, automotive instructor, and coordinator of the meeting. “But he said he will keep coming as long as we want him and we always will. His contribution to our program is invaluable.” Taylor recalls being hired by Gary McBride to teach part time in the Automotive Department in 1984 but left his position in 1994 to go into business for himself with Don Smith. “A lot has changed in the automotive industry over the last 30 years,” he said.

“These advisory committee meetings are important for the students who are being trained and important for us because you [EAC] are preparing our workforce.” Taylor has two former EAC automotive students on staff now and says he likes to hire mechanics trained by Coppola at EAC. “Brian is a good instructor who cares about his students. One thing about the guys from EAC—they know what is going to be expected of them when they come to work in my garage,” said Taylor. “That is what we need here.”

Taylor and his wife Janine make their home in Safford and have raised five children: Dennis, Eric, Janice, Jennifer, and Alisha.

For information about EAC’s Automotive Department and its programs, contact Coppola at Brian Coppola. For more information about EAC’s advisory committees or to volunteer, contact Dean Mike Crockett at Mike Crockett or (928) 428-8291.