Ohio Technical College Announces August 2019 Instructor of the Month

OTC’s newest Instructor of the Month has been at OTC since 2005, with the inception of the Classic Car Restoration Program. Del Hess is a transplant, originally from Elkton, MD. He relocated to the Cleveland area in hopes of catching the wave of automotive customization before it got to the east coast. He brings with him over 35-years of experience and teaches because he is passionate about cars and inspiring a new generation to love them too. “I was surprised initially when the Classic Car program was launched, at the ages of the students who enrolled. I was expecting an older student, say 26-years or older. When I saw it was 18 and 19-year-old’s, I was very excited. It was cool.” Just like many niche industries, restoration and rod & custom relies on a stream of younger professionals to pick up the reigns and continue on with proven old-school techniques. “This is a small, tight-knit community of professionals. You are only as good or as bad as your reputation. I tell them like-it-is, and teach them what they need to learn in order to be successful. I want them to be better than me in this industry.” Hess is still in contact with many of OTC’s alumni. “Nothing is more satisfying than when a graduate contacts me a year or more after they have graduated to thank me. That appreciation is what keeps me going.” Hess knows OTC’s Classic Car Restoration and Rod & Custom programs are unique in their upholstery and custom paint training modules. “There are so many individual skills our graduates learn that can translate into a solid career, and many of them have found their groove in upholstery, metal working or paint.” Hess tells each student in his class, “You can only build a car one way, and that’s perfect.”