Meet Luke Franta, ASE's Youngest World Class Tech
At last weekend’s VISION conference, one point was stressed throughout multiple course sessions and keynotes: the industry needs to figure out how to recruit talented young technicians.
For a promising glimpse of the future however, one can look at Luke Franta, a 23-year-old technician who just earned his world class certification through ASE. To receive the award, individuals must test and obtain ASE certification in 22 specialty areas. According to ASE, Franta is the youngest technician to ever earn the certification.
Franta actually didn’t start working on cars until he was about 18 years old, and says it started as a hobby for him, and something fun he could do with his friends. He started to get better at fixing cars, and really started to enjoy the sense of reward from working on vehicles.
“I started going to school, reading books all about it, watching Youtube videos, learning as much as I could about it,” Franta says. “It basically became a lifestyle at that point.”
Franta says he spent a significant amount of his free time reading books and watching videos on automotive repair to pinpoint what his weaknesses were, while trying to learn as much as he could about the industry.
Franta started his career as a technician at Jiffy Lube, and when he felt he couldn’t learn anymore there, he started working at Big Brand Tire in Atascedero, California. He found APS Automotive, a shop across the street, and was interested with their full engine repair and transmission building services, eventually turning this interest into a contracting position with the shop.
He also attained his own dealer’s license to start Frantas Auto Care, which covers a full range of automotive services, and says he plans to buy APS at the end of the year.
Below, Franta shares his insight on what brought him to the industry, and how it can recruit talented young technicians like himself:
“One way to encourage further generations to get into the automotive industry is to change the way we view it. Where I grew up it was always viewed as a lesser path than getting a four year degree and I don't believe that it is any lesser. Both avenues have their rewards in different areas of life.”
“The truth is we need people in the trade industries because we rely on them to do a lot of the things we take for granted, like simply getting in the car and driving to work. It’s such a simple task that I think we often forget what a necessity it really is to us. I think another thing that helps encourage the next generation into automotive is to have classes such as automotive shop in our high schools that help us really understand the importance of the industry and how it can be a fun way to spend time with your friends.”