Crotty auto technician earns GM world-class status
By Stephen Sears
COLUMBUS TOWNSHIP As a truck mechanic in the U.S. Marine Corps, Dean Lewis Jr. performed his tasks to the best of his ability.
That personal drive that fueled his military career also has served him well in his chosen career.
“Seven years in the Marines taught me a lot”, said Lewis, now an automotive service technician at Crotty Chevrolet. “The Marines taught me pride”.
Lewis, 51, of Wrightsville, has good reason to be proud these days. Lewis recently completed the required training to earn the rank of World Class Technician in the General Motors Service Technical College program. The longtime auto-repair specialist is one of only 1,848 GM service techs in the nation to achieve the distinction in servicing Chevrolet and Buick vehicles.
“That’s what’s so unique about this,” said John “Chop” Crotty, president of Crotty Chevrolet. “It’s been very time-consuming for Dean, but he took the time to take all the courses and grow with them.” Crotty said Lewis is the first person to earn World Class Technician status in the four-decade history of the Columbus automobile dealership and service center.
“Here’s someone who set his goal years ago and we’re proud of him,” Crotty said. Lewis spent two stints with the Marines, from 1978 to 1982 and again from 1985 to 1988. The 1978 graduate of Sheffield High School began his career with GM in 1989 as a service technician with Wiggers Chevrolet in Youngsville. Lewis joined the Crotty team in 1999.
Throughout the years, Lewis has continually upgraded his skills through GM training.
The GM STC training program provides technicians the opportunity to validate their knowledge and demonstrate their skills to employers and customers.
Technicians achieve this status after satisfying the requirements for the respective body or mechanical areas, which includes obtaining Master Technician Certification in select categories. Body technicians achieve status when they successfully complete three GM Master Technician certifications in the body area.
Service techs, like Lewis, however, must successfully complete eight of nine GM Master Technician certifications. Lewis completed them all in these Categories: engines and mechanical parts, HVAC, brakes, steering, suspension, diesel, manual drive transmissions, automatic transmissions, and electric and electrical. Not surprisingly, Lewis also is GM-certified in auto body. The accomplishment hasn’t been easy. Lewis was required to take courses over the Internet, participate in live Internet class broadcasts, and take numerous trips over the years to GM training centers in Mars, Orchard Park, N.Y., and Warren, Mich. Lewis estimates he has attended about 700 classes over his long career.
He successfully completed his National Association of Automotive Service Excellence test, which serves as a final exam, to earn his World Class Technician status.
“I have the knowledge to fix anything if I have the time and the resources,” Lewis said.
Still, Lewis has no intention of living in the past. He’s committed to keep attending GM training sessions to keep up on the latest developments.
Lewis and his wife, Michelle, have five daughters, ages 17 to 28. Although working full time and attending training classes has been a challenge, Lewis wouldn¹t have it any other way.
“I’ve always strived to do better in life than my parents did, and I hope the same for all my children,” he said.