Simard Automotive Employee Profile - James Rodriguez, Shop Apprentice

James Rodriguez has been a Shop Apprentice at Simard Automotive for over two years. He has become a great part of the Simard team and we’re proud to have him in our shop. He does so much to help our customers with their auto repairs and automotive services.

As Shop Apprentice, James is responsible for a number of duties. He handles many different automotive repairs and also helps with diagnostic testing to identify potential problems within the vehicles we service. He helps with training of other apprentices who join either of the Simard Automotive shops in Fairbanks. He also helps new repair technicians get settled in and familiar with everything when when they come on board.

James is a quick learner and he is always looking for ways to expand his automotive repair knowledge. He has strong professional aspirations. James loves getting to know different vehicles and studying different aspects of the auto repair industry. This fall, he will be starting the Hutch Autotech Program. James is already ASE Certified for maintenance and light repair, and he holds his certifications from the Canadian Auto Repair Service, General Motors and various other parts companies.

James grew up in Tampa, Florida and decided to move to Alaska in 2015. He wanted to experience the unique Alaskan lifestyle for himself, while also pursuing a career in automotive repair. He came to Simard Automotive with little-to-no experience, but he demonstrated a lot of passion for this industry and we knew right away that he would be a great asset for our team. “I’ve loved cars since before I could walk and talk,” James says. “My family said that if my work didn’t relate to automotive, I’d probably waste away. Simard Automotive saw this is what I wanted to do with my life and they have been guiding me every step of the way.”

When James is not studying auto repair or working on his own project cars, he is found taking advantage of the abundant outdoor lifestyle in Alaska. Some of his favorite hobbies include hiking, camping, fishing and disc golf. He also has a cool dog named Zeena, who is a unique Husky/Schnauzer mix.

We’re so glad to have James working at Simard Automotive. He is one of many individuals on our team who helps make our shops such a trusted auto repair and maintenance resource for people throughout the Fairbanks community.