Feature: Personal Partnerships

Employee's at Wilson's Garage

All in the Family

When Tim Lasley was in high school, he worked part time at Wilson’s Garage in Pfafftown and became a volunteer firefighter at Pfafftown’s Vienna Fire Department. Little did he know that both workplaces would lead him to Forsyth Tech and that all three places would occupy a central role in his life.

Tim is the embodiment of a lifelong learner: In his early twenties, at an age when many people are finishing their education, he was just getting started. In 1978, he graduated from Forsyth Tech with a vocational degree in automotive mechanics. He then earned a degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering at N.C. State. “Forsyth Tech gave me the boost I needed to pursue a four-year degree,” he says.

Employee's of Wilson's GarageBy then he’d developed an unquenchable thirst for learning new skills. “During the time I was at N.C. State, I took continuing education classes at Forsyth Tech whenever there was an opportunity,” he recalls. “I was often dual enrolled.” Shortly after he and his wife, Roberta, were married, they purchased Wilson’s Garage, which they still operate today. He is also the volunteer fire chief at the Vienna Fire Department. “I basically have two full-time jobs,” he says.

In the years since graduation, Tim has returned to the college often, both as a student and as an instructor. Through Forsyth Tech, he studied to become a certified Emergency Medical Technician. Those skills have proven invaluable when he’s helping others. Tim has also shared his knowledge of the fire service as a part-time instructor at the college since 1986.

Employee's of Wilson's GarageSons Jim, 22, and Paul, 20, share many of their dad’s interests. Having spent countless hours at the garage and the fire station while growing up, both boys have learned auto mechanics and earned their firefighter’s certification. At 16, Jim recounts, he began going on “fire calls,” fetching tools and equipment behind-the-scenes for firefighters.

After high school graduation, he earned his associate’s degree in collision repair and refinishing at Forsyth Tech. He now works for the family business full time. “I’m a technical, hands-on guy. My brother has more of an analytical mind,” he observes.

an Employee of Wilson's Garage fixing a signHis younger sibling, Paul, has taken a different path. After two years at Forsyth Tech, he is transferring to N.C. State in the fall to study Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Sciences. For now, when his schedule permits, he works part time at the garage.

Tim has passed on his belief that nothing you learn is ever wasted. “Education expands your mind and improves your interpersonal skills,” he says. “Even if you don’t realize it, you apply everything you learn to your daily life, much more than you think.”

Not a bad legacy for his children.