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Friday, 09 September 2022 09:55

Auto Collision Instructor Makes Industry Employment a Priority

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Abe Sells has been teaching at the Chesapeake Career Center Vocational Technical School at Tidewater Community College since 2013. Abe Sells has been teaching at the Chesapeake Career Center Vocational Technical School at Tidewater Community College since 2013.

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Abe Sells is a collision repair instructor at Tidewater Community College in Chesapeake, VA, teaching in the dual enrollment program at the Chesapeake Career Center.

His students and industry partners---vendors and local auto body shops---know Sells is in it to win it when it comes to making great things happen for everyone he encounters.

 

It's a lot more than just a job for Sells.

 

“I like what I am doing and I guess it shows,” Sells said. “This industry has been good to me, and I want to help fill the void in the collision industry by creating career opportunity for them. When you see a young person embracing what I am teaching it is a great thing, and I want to tap into that as much as I can.”

 

Sells, 51, is constantly busy and enjoys the variety. When he isn’t teaching, he runs Dent Chasers, where he performs paintless dent repair (PDR) for his clients in the Chesapeake area. It works out well during the summer months when he is not teaching full-time.

 

It’s remarkable Sells ended up teaching collision repair classes because at first, carpentry was what he wanted to take at his local vocational school in Ohio. Auto body was his second choice and he had no interest in it.

 

After graduating from high school, Sells needed a job. His father worked two hours away at a steel mill. But Sells didn’t want to move and have to work as hard as his father did, so he thought maybe he should give collision repair another shot.

 

Sells started at $4.25 an hour, making $170 for a 40-hour week. Then he made $7 an hour, averaging 50-55 hours a week, making $380 a week---which meant he doubled his income and was moving in the right direction.

 

When Sells took ownership of his future...


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