Pinero Antonio Dingle II and his dad, Pinero Antonio Dingle Sr., enjoy working with their hands on do-it-yourself projects, including basic car repairs. “My dad likes being in charge, but I know more than him right now. We’re really competitive, and he is quickly catching up,” Dingle II said.
Father and son are students at Tidewater Community College’s Regional Automotive Center, but Dingle II is soon to complete an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology, while Dingle Sr. has about a year left to complete his degree.
“Coming here has been great,” Dingle II said. “The faculty are all master ASE technicians, and they really know what they’re doing. And they make sure we learn, too. The hands-on work is the best part, because by the end of each class, we have the skills to do the work.”
Dingle Sr., who retired from two careers in U.S. Army Special Forces and the U.S. Post Office, enjoys being a lifelong learner. “My RAC instructors expect more than the bare minimum, and they want you to be hungry for knowledge,” he said. “When you leave here, you are going to have what you need to succeed. I’m comfortable sending my kids here, because it’s a good steppingstone to whatever you want to do. It’s the place to establish goals for yourself and get the foundation you need.”
Just three classes away from graduating, Dingle II has already landed a full-time job as a service technician for Hall Honda in Virginia Beach. “I started on the quick lube team and was quickly moved to service because the shop foreman saw what I could do,” he said. “At the RAC, we have the most up-to-date equipment and it is easy to transition to the dealership because we’ve already been working in a similar setting.”