Austin Ginn Joins SCRTC

Austin Ginn worked for the City of Calais Public works department for 32 years and will now be teaching Automotive Technology at the St. Croix Regional Technical Center in Calais. (Photo by Kaileigh Deacon)

By Kaileigh Deacon


Students from Calais, Eastport and Baileyville have an opportunity that not all students have. They get the chance to take classes from St. Croix Regional Technical Center where they get real hands-on experience in technical fields. One of those programs is Automotive Technology with new instructor Austin Ginn. 

Mr. Ginn has replaced long time instructor Don Barnes. For the last 32 years, Mr. Ginn worked for the City of Calais in the Public Works Department. He is a graduate of Washington County Community College and has a small garage he uses to work on the vehicles of friends and family. 

“There’s a lot of knowledge that I have stored that has been passed to me that should be out there, and I feel I have a connection with the kids to pass it on,” Mr. Ginn said. 

The Automotive Technology class teaches students a wide variety of things with both classroom and hands-on work. Students will learn automotive history and important shop safety as well as basic car maintenance work. Students get hands-on experience working on vehicles supplied by the students and staff whose only expense is a fee of ten percent above the cost of parts. The money they earn goes toward student  trips to various locations and even toward buying new equipment for the shop. Work skills students will learn range from assessing and maintaining brakes, oil changes and other parts of vehicle maintenance. 

Students will also get to visit local facilities that play a role in automotive work. They will visit local garages and parts stores as well as the Pratt Chevrolet service department. They will learn how the skills they’re learning are used every day and that many people are necessary to get the work done within their community.

“I want students to be able to work on a vehicle alone, with an understanding of Automotive [Technology],” Mr. Ginn said. 

When he isn’t teaching, he enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and working on cars.