Machine Tool Student Jason Garner Says You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks if Done Right

DUBLIN, Ga., (OFTC) –They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks; but Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) Machine Tool Technology student, Jason Garner says, “you can if it’s done right.”

At 43 years old Garner decided he wanted to take his hobby of making plastic fishing baits to the next level and start his own business.

“I knew the skills I would need to do this would take a lot of training and understanding of what goes into the process from start to finish,” Garner shared. “I knew I wasn’t getting any younger and decided it was now or never.”

A longtime employee of YKK, Garner works his shift during the day and attends his OFTC classes at night.

Growing a Skillset

Garner has enjoyed his OFTC classes and says they’ve furthered his understanding of how the different machines work; and learning the process from start to finish has been really beneficial to his learning.

“My goal is to have my own shop and make my own products to sell,” he said. “I’d love to be able to work for myself and make a living at it.”

Not only has Garner increased his knowledge of the precision machining and manufacturing field he loves, but he’s also pushed himself to further his skillset by competing in both the state and national SkillsUSA competitions.

“My instructor encouraged me to participate in SkillsUSA for the college and I competed in the 2-axis lathe programmer competition,” Garner shared. “It was an amazing experience that really helped my confidence and showed me areas where I was both strong and weak.

“I know these experiences are preparing me for what it’s going to take to make and sell parts and ultimately run my own business,” he said.

Never Too Old to Learn

Reflecting on his overall experience at OFTC, Garner is glad he made the decision to further his education, even at 43 years old.

“OFTC is an amazing college that truly pushes you to reach your maximum potential,” he shared. “The staff really want to see you meet your goals and will do whatever they can to help you. I hope people will realize they’re never too old to go back to school.”

To learn more about OFTC’s Machine Tool Technology program, visit the College’s website,

Several Machine Tool Technology programs qualify for free tuition through Georgia’s Hope Career Grant which is available to HOPE Grant-qualified students who enroll in select majors specifically aligned with industries in which there are more jobs available in Georgia than there are skilled workers to fill them. To learn more about the Hope Career Grant, contact the office of financial aid at


The mission of Oconee Fall Line Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, is to contribute to the economic and workforce development of east central Georgia through quality technical and continuing education, adult education, and business and industry services. The College offers associate degrees, diplomas, technical certificates of credit, and non-credit certificates in a student-centered learning environment through traditional and distance education modes of delivery.