By Chasidy Rae Sisk
Tech shortage. Talent crisis. These are hot topics in the collision repair industry that all stem from a lack of qualified technicians entering the workforce. Technicians, though, must begin as collision students, and without receiving a proper education on the industry’s ongoing technological advances, these students may never become “qualified!” Because limited budgets prevent many instructors from being able to teach students the newest technology, the Collision Repair Education Foundation is excited to announce that it’s partnering with the 3M Collision Repair Academy to make April “3M Training Month” for instructors and students.
“We’ll bring 3M professionals, collision repair instructors and students together to learn more about the foundational elements of collision repair,” said Jason Scharton, Global Expertise Delivery Manager, 3M Collision. “We are happy to see a lot of engagement for these sessions already, and we expect high participation across all of our sessions during 3M Training Month. In collaboration with CREF, we selected five courses that take students and instructors through the entire repair process. Our intent is to focus on the fundamentals that lead to high-quality repair work, but don’t always receive the emphasis or specific training for new technicians to implement when they start in the field. This has informed the entire curriculum,”
Scharton continued, “The 3M Training Month provides future technicians with the opportunity to learn the fundamental skills necessary to thrive in the ever-evolving industry of collision repair. The industry is in constant need for skilled new talent, and these training sessions aim to strengthen the talent pool, which will contribute to a stronger and more efficient industry and, ultimately, drive profit for collision repair shops as well as customer satisfaction.”
Collision repair instructors can register their classes to virtually attend five individual courses, taught on each Thursday in April 2021, beginning on April 1. Attendees will receive a Certificate of Attendance which can be applied toward their annual Continuing Education Unit requirements.
April 1 at 1pm CST – “Foams, Weld-Through Coatings, and Cavity Wax” will provide students with insight into the science behind weld-through coating and the critical role cavity wax plays in the corrosion protection process.
April 8 at 10:30am CST – “Repair Mapping: Causes and Prevention” focuses on helping students understand and refine OEM paint layers, plus the course touches on common misconceptions seen within the industry.
April 15 at 11:30am CST – “Feather, Prime, and Block Explained” will highlight best practices in featheredging, which can reduce primer consumption to avoid repair mapping.
April 22 at 12:30pm CST – “Art and Science of Masking” is a refresher on 3M’s masking portfolio and the nuances at play.
April 29 at 10am CST – “Focus on Finishing – Expert Tips for Improved Jobs” aims to provide students with the tools and skills to tackle any paint job and achieve the perfect finish.
Scharton stated, “3M Training Month is a great example of giving back to the industry in a thoughtful way. We are taking our expertise in the field, combined with high-performance products, and teaching future repair technicians the professional skills that will serve them in their careers. This industry is built on passing down expertise so that’s a great starting point for any industry professional looking to engage with CREF. We find it rewarding to shape the future leaders of the industry through our customized and timely training sessions, tools and products.”
“Education and training are fundamental to keeping pace with the talent demands and changing needs in our industry,” Scharton continued. “We created the 3M Collision Repair Academy not only to address the needs of today, but to evaluate and fill skill gaps in the future, producing better quality, higher margin results for repair shops. 3M Training Month, in partnership with CREF, is just one part of our overall commitment.” Learn more about the 3M Collision Repair Academy.
Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs should contact Brandon Eckenrode, Director of Development, at 312-231-0258 or Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org.
The Collision Repair Education Foundation, founded in 1991, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting collision repair educational programs, schools, and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities. For information on how to donate to programs supported by the Education Foundation, visit us online at: www.CollisionEducationFoundation.org.
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