I would like to welcome all of my students to the 2008-09 year. It looks like the first-year student classes are going to be full, which is a sign that we are off to a good year. I am looking forward to all of the talents and abilities this class is going to produce. I’m also excited to watch my second-year students excel and become professional technicians ready to enter the collision industry.
The first year we focus on the basics. What I mean by the basics is: safety, terminology, job opportunities, welding, car design, minor body repair, plastic repair, adhesives, estimating, preparation, and painting. This is done in class (theory) and in the lab (hands-on). We will not be performing a lot of live work the first year, as we must learn how first, then we can think about live work. One thing I must let you know up front is that we do not do teach restoration. This class is designed to produce professional technicians in the dealership or independent body shop working environment. We try not to work on a vehicle that is more than 15 years old because that is not what you will be working on in collision shops in the industry. This is not to say, that you can’t use the learned skills to perform restoration work. We have had students go to work for custom shops. We’ve also had students enter the aviation industry painting planes. However, the emphasis is on collision repair—taking a car that has been involved in an accident and repair it to its pre-accidental condition.
The second-year students have a busy year ahead of them. We already have several major projects and quite a few smaller projects waiting to be repaired. We’re going to have to stay busy to get all of these projects completed. The second year is more in-depth and builds from the basics that were learned from the first year. This is where the first year starts to make sense. By the time you complete the second year; you should have a firm grasp on the basics and be ready to enter the collision industry. The collision repair shop can take you from there and mold you to fit their needs. One thing I stress; you will not know everything after completing ANY Collision Repair program. You must enter the industry with an open mind and willing to learn, as this business keeps changing. The learning is a never ending process. If you’re willing to show a shop that you are willing to learn with a good attitude, then you will go far in this industry.
Just a few more days and we’ll get this year kicked off. See you then.