The five OTC campuses and centers will be alive today with thousands of students who will be working toward fulfilling their educational goals.
One former OTC student has already seen his dream come true is Brandon Davis, now the owner of French Davis Collision in Nixa.
A dozen years ago, Davis was taking automotive collision classes in the college’s Dual Credit program as a student from Parkview High School.
“I wanted to learn to fix cars that I tore up as a kid,” he said.
As a student in the program, Davis was offered an internship with a local auto body collision company. That’s where he met Gary French.
“I was an intern for a week and then he hired me the day after I graduated,” Davis said, who completed his studies in 2002.
Davis had a scholarship to study engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology but decided repairing cars was his passion.
How did his parents react to turning down the scholarship?
“I fix their cars for them today,” he said with a smile. “I didn’t want to sit behind a desk.”
After a bit of a rocky start at his full-time job, the relationship between Davis and French got stronger and when Davis told his boss he wanted to open his own business, Davis suggested he go with him on the new venture.
In 2010, they two opened the current business. Last August, French decided to retire and sold his interest to Davis.
Davis has no regrets about following his dream.
“It’s important to do what you enjoy. If you’re good at something, the money will follow,” he said.
Because of the top-notched auto collision program at OTC, Davis looks to the college for potential employees.
His top painter, Jesse Webb, is an OTC graduate and Davis said all nine of his full-time employees have some connection with the OTC automotive program.
Davis, who just turned 30, credits the OTC program for sending him on his way to fulfilling his dream of owning his own shop.
“It played a big part in where I am today,” he said. “If I hadn’t taken the classes and gotten the internship, I wouldn’t have gotten my foot in the door. I wouldn’t be working on cars.”
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