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Tue, Sept. 17

Mechanic sets up shop in Cottonwood

Helaine Kurot with “Turbo” at her shop at 350 Automotive at 468 C South Main St. Suite C in Cottonwood.

Helaine Kurot with “Turbo” at her shop at 350 Automotive at 468 C South Main St. Suite C in Cottonwood.

Helaine Kurot's story is not unusual for Cottonwood in recent years.

• Move to the Verde Valley for the weather and scenery.

• See the growth potential of the area coming up in the next few years.

• Decide to open a business.

Kurot has opened 350 Automotive at 468 C South Main St. Suite C in Cottonwood.

She was living in Cottonwood but working in Flagstaff as a diesel mechanic and at a dealership, but decided to go out on her own.

Kurot provides scheduled maintenance services, light diesel work, regular repairs, major engine work, oil changes to electrical and diagnostic services.

"It's been an interesting month." said Kurot, who opened the business in June. But she said it's not as difficult running your own business as most people would think.

"I am a female-owned and operated facility focused on providing honest, reliable, fair repairs while educating customers on the best way to maintain their vehicle for their needs," Kurot replied when asked what made her business unique.

How common are female auto mechanics today?

"There's fewer of them, but they are around. I worked with probably two or three of them in New York," she said.

Kurot pointed out that there may even be an advantage, "on all of the stuff my hands fit, where the guy's don't." And she added, "I got a bigger pry bar ... there's always a way to find more leverage."

Kurot said it isn't a problem whether there are enough male or female mechanics, it's getting "any" qualified people into the auto repair field.

It's not like the old days when a person learned to work on their own cars at home. Now cars are computerized and electronic and it takes training and schooling, she said. "There's a lot of electronics behind it and a lot of the newer technology is starting to show up, definitely a different skill set."

Kurot said she is ASE Certified Master Technician, Ford and Chrysler Certified, has A/C 609 Certification and attends several training events a years including SEMA.

"Its starting to pick up," she said about her business. "The scenery is some of the best in the state and the community is amazing and continuing to grow."

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