Annie Curtis - Columbus State Community College 50th Anniversary

In a perfectly legal way, Milt Erb practiced a little insider trading for 20 years.

Erb, who graduated with an associate degree in automotive technology from Columbus Technical Institute in 1980, was a mechanic with Columbus Cadillac for 20 years. During that two-decade stretch, he was also was an adjunct professor in the Automotive Department at Columbus State Community College.

Consequently, Erb had the opportunity to cherry-pick the best students for openings at Columbus Cadillac.

"The professional network and relationships I developed through my time at Columbus State have been with me my entire career.

"It was my good fortune to teach and hire many automotive technicians that were trained at Columbus State," he says. "The professional network and relationships I developed through my time at Columbus State have been with me my entire career. They serve me well on a daily basis."

Erb had the opportunity to participate in an apprenticeship program with Columbus Cadillac and the National Automobile Dealers Association. After graduating as salutatorian in his class, he went on to become a master mechanic with Columbus Cadillac. After twenty years as a master mechanic, Milt went into management and is now the service director.

"Automotive service is kind of a paradox since all vehicles are the same yet all vehicles are different," he says. "They all do the same thing, they just accomplish it in different ways. The sound, theoretical base that I learned while a student allowed me to understand how different systems functioned. Teaching at Columbus State allowed me to stay fresh in my field and current with systems being developed by other manufacturers. This experience also helped me to understand how to develop people and help them achieve their goals, which I view as a major part of my job today as a service director."

Erb stays in touch with his alma mater as a member of the Columbus State Automotive Advisory Board.

Images: A Year in the Life of Columbus State