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Alumni Spotlight- Brian Grafton

February 27, 2024

Brian Grafton is a southerner who is taking the concept of forging his path in the trades seriously.  

WyoTech was Grafton’s dream school, and he was determined to make it happen.  Working three jobs prior to his attendance at WyoTech, he saved his money and even sold his car to attend WyoTech.  Taking the greyhound bus across the country in order to make it to Laramie, Wyoming for school, Grafton started at WyoTech in 2015 and took Automotive Technology and Street rod.  “My instructors in those programs were absolutely amazing,” Grafton says.  “They helped me make it through the class and prepare me for my career”.  Knowing it would take a lot of work both inside and outside of school to make his dream of WyoTech a reality, Grafton also worked part time at Subway during his time in Laramie, walking back and forth between work and school.  

After graduation, he went to work for a Nissan dealership.  After staying there for a couple years, he moved around the industry to a few different dealerships, then had the opportunity to go into heavy-duty diesel.  Going back to school through TravelCenters of America in order to pursue this area of the trades industry, Grafton then began working on 18-wheelers for a few years.  He has also continued to use the welding skills he learned in Street Rod.  He worked on both the car and the semi truck from the movie Smokey and the Bandit, as well as the “General Lee” from the Dukes of Hazzard.  As for personal projects, he has rebuilt a 1977 Cadillac hearse into a drag car, putting a supercharged LS motor in it.  “I still race it every now and then, but recently have been doing some more work on it.”  Having restored a 1940’s Chevy during his time at WyoTech, Grafton is also hoping to acquire another square-body pickup in the near future.  

Grafton is extremely thankful for his time at WyoTech.  “All I had when I got there was a duffle bag with some clothes, a sleeping bag, and a laptop.  I sold everything else to attend WyoTech, and I don’t regret it to this day.  I’ve gone from being an Automotive Technician to a heavy-duty diesel mechanic, and now I’m a lot manager for a Dodge dealership in Mississippi.  I am witnessing history taking place right now, seeing the Chargers, Hellcats and Demons take their place in history as EV technology grows in the industry….if it weren’t for the school, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”  He says that attending WyoTech put a new place in his heart for Wyoming and Laramie.  “I miss being in Laramie, and would love to move back there.  The winters are a little brutal, but the people and the town are amazing.”

In offering advice to current and future WyoTech students, Grafton says one of the biggest things is to always show up on time.  “Make sure you have all your stuff together when you come to class- be clean-shaven, have your shirt tucked in, have your homework done.  If you’re struggling, take advantage of the tutoring services WyoTech offers.  Don’t hesitate to ask for help.”