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Milford Grad receives alumni award from NCCA

Jerry Kleine shaking hands with President Dr. Paul Illich.

Jerry Kleine was the recipient of the 2019 Nebraska Community College Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award from Southeast Community College. The NCCA awards banquet was held on Sunday, Nov. 3, at Embassy Suites in Lincoln. Each of the five Nebraska community colleges who are NCCA members selects one graduate for the annual award.

Jerry Kleine of Grand Island has been an automotive service technician for thirty years. He initially chose the General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program in Milford for the small class size and easy access to the instructors.

“The program allowed for hands-on labs and classroom study, which was the type of structure I was looking for,” Kleine said. “The instructors were very knowledgeable and were able to relate well with all the students.”

Upon graduation in 1989, Kleine worked as a service technician. He’s been at Dinsdale Automotive in Grand Island for 25 years.

“By my graduation, with the structure of the program and mentors at my sponsoring dealership, I was confident in my abilities to begin a career in my field,” he said. “I continued to work with mentors and took advantage of every training that became available through my dealership.”

Lynn Wilson is Kleine’s supervisor at Dinsdale Automotive. He said he’s a natural leader, always willing to help people and offer a solution at any given time. He’s not surprised he was selected for this award.

“Jerry is very fitting for this distinguished award,” Wilson said. “By the education he received, he is an asset to Tom Dinsdale Chevrolet and the community we live in. I appreciate Southeast Community College and everything they do to mentor, model, train and education students so they’re able to go out and be successful.”

In 2007, Kleine achieved General Motors World Class Technician status. Service technicians can earn this status by completing the requirements for either the mechanical or body areas of expertise, along with achieving the Master Technician Certification in the required service areas. In 2016, 2017, and 2018 he was named GM Mark of Excellence Top 50 Technician for participating dealerships in the country.

“I enjoy working on vehicles with the latest technology like the Cadillac, Corvette and hybrids,” Kleine said. “I also like the challenge of diagnosing complicated repairs.”

In 2017, he was named Outstanding Alumnus at Southeast Community College’s Milford Campus. He is married to his wife Sandi and has three adult daughters; Jordan, Jessica and Jamie. He enjoys spending time at his family cabin and following the Huskers.


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