Hometown:San José, Costa Rica
High School:Alonso received his GED while taking classes for the welding program through Jones College’s Mississippi Integrated Basic Education & Skills Training Program (MIBEST)
Training:Jones County Junior College
Degree:Technical certificate in Welding & Automotive Technology
Employer:Madero Garage in Ellisville
Title:Classic Ford Truck Restorer & Customizer and Owner of Madero Garage

Automotive Service Technician


In 2015, Alonso Hernandez left his home country of Costa Rica to marry his wife in her hometown of Ellisville, Mississippi. Alonso quickly realized that finding a job and getting into an American college was very difficult without a high school diploma from the U.S.

He enrolled in the MIBEST program at Jones College where, within a year, he earned his high school equivalency and 15 college credits, which he used to complete his certificate. Today, Alonso owns his own garage where he specializes in classic car restoration and customization.

“I never even owned a car in Costa Rica and now, after falling in love with old trucks, putting myself through school and working professionally for almost two years, I’m open for business.”

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Alonso is on page 59!

Automotive service technicians and mechanics, often called service technicians, inspect, maintain and repair cars and light trucks. Service technicians sometimes specialize in a particular type of repair that may be subject to specific regulations or procedures. A few specialty tech jobs include brake repairers, automotive air-conditioning repairers, front-end mechanics and driveability technicians.


  • Identify mechanical problems, often using computerized diagnostic equipment, following checklists to ensure nothing is missed.
  • Test parts and systems to ensure that they are working properly.
  • Fix problems discovered during diagnostics.