For high school students hoping to someday work in the automotive field, Southwestern Community instructors say there’s no better way to learn the trade than by working with the type of equipment they’ll one day use as professionals.

Bugs Fretwell and the Cashiers Service Center understand this, which is why they donated a Hunter GSP9600 wheel and tire balancer to SCC’s automotive systems technology program at Franklin High School.

“This is great because our students at the high school level now have access to the same technology as what’s currently being used in the field,” said David Myers, coordinator of SCC’s automotive systems technology program. “They’re able to train on this machine. When they get a job, they’ll already have experience using this equipment – and that’s a big help for the people hiring them.”

The Cashiers Service Center is part of Wilson Gas Service.

“We’re just glad to see young people interested in auto repair,” Fretwell said. “Any little bit we can do to help, we’re glad to do it. We hope someday some of these students will be our employees.”

Myers worked closely with Brett Woods, director of the SCC Foundation, and Cashiers Service Center to secure the donation.

The equipment is valued at approximately $3,500.

“This a great example of how our local employers are supporting our programs and students,” Woods said. “By making this gift, Cashiers Service Center is investing in the future of our students. We hope that other area employers will consider making similar tax-deductible donations whenever they wind up with surplus inventory items of high-quality equipment like this.”

For more information about SCC’s automotive systems technology program, contact Myers at 339-4237 or