Vinny Rivera, Service and Training Manager at Carolina Thomas, was born with a curiosity to discover what made things tick. “When I was a kid, I disassembled every toy I had just to see how they worked,” says Rivera. That passion led to a career in automotive technology, and later bus technology and service.
Rivera started his career at an automobile dealership as a driveability and electronics technician. He also earned his bachelor’s degree in business management and ethics. Rivera has been with Carolina Thomas since October of 2005.
A Constantly Changing Industry
While much has changed with bus technology over the years, one thing remains the same: continuous training is required to keep up with the advances.
“I advise bus technicians to get all the electrical training they can and to learn how to use a digital volt/ohm meter,” says Rivera.
During his career, Rivera has trained approximately 800 bus technicians. While most of his training takes place in North Carolina, Rivera has also trained technicians from all over the United States and Canada at several national events.
His training expertise earned him the Thomas Built Buses 2014 Southeast Regional Trainer of the Year award.
Preparing for the Future
Bus technicians and parts personnel now have another option for sharpening skills with Carolina Thomas’s new state-of-the-art training center. The center prepares transportation directors, shop foremen, technicians, and parts staff for the future, including training for technology such as virtual technician programs and online parts ordering systems.
“Electronics are the future of the bus industry,” says Rivera. “Virtual technicians are being used in over-the-road trucks and this technology is now being introduced to buses.”
The new training center at Carolina Thomas features two 90-foot, drive-through service bays with special lighting and flooring, as well as classrooms. It is the first center dedicated exclusively for bus training in North Carolina, and just opened this month.
“Our training is designed to help people understand the bus better and make their lives easier,” says Rivera. “I love helping customers and technicians solve their problems.”
To learn more about the new Training Center or to inquire about bus service and maintenance contact Carolina Thomas today.