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Gino Odeh

With a killer idea, an entrepreneurial drive, and an education from Columbus State, Gino Odeh isn’t waiting to build his business.

Odeh is in his second year in Columbus State’s Automotive Technology program, but he’s already launched a light auto repair business. But here’s the twist: He makes house calls.

He’ll come to your office, loan you a van, and take your car back to his shop for repairs. If the weather’s nice, he’ll make the repair on the spot. If the job is too big, he’ll refer you to another shop.

“I wasn’t able to open a shop when I first started. The only thing I had was my car. But I really wanted to do it,” Odeh says.

Odeh started with fliers, but he says 25 percent of his business now comes through word-of-mouth. Business is up and down, but it’s steadily improving. He doesn’t have a website yet, but his number is (614) 515-0196.

Now 30 years old, Odeh moved from Kuwait in 1998. A friend told him about the Automotive Technology program at Columbus State in January 2009. He came for a visit and signed up on the spot.

“I just went, and I came out a student,” Odeh says. “They made it easy on us.”

The Automotive Technology department offers an associate degree in Auto Tech (that’s what Odeh’s doing), as well a Service Management major and a Maintenance and Light Repair certificate. The Ford ASSET and Toyota T-Ten programs focus on those manufacturers. Auto Tech is part of the Career & Tech Division at the college, which allows you to get a degree or a certificate that qualify you for jobs immediately.

“If you want to change your life around, if you want to start a new life, go ahead and start at Columbus State,” Odeh says.