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Tuesday, 01 May 2007 15:27

Hefty donation from Seidners affords high school students a chance at industry careers

    Seidner’s Collision Centers recently donated $7,500 for the use of the I-CAR™ Education Foundation to train local high school students on collision repair in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley.
    During a brief meeting with Ron Ray, Executive Director of the I-CAR Education Foundation, Steve Seidner and Gene Lopez of Seidner’s Collision Centers, plans were developed to schedule an Instructor Qualification Workshop (IQW) for high school collision repair teachers.
    “Seidner’s Collision Centers, the I-CAR Education Foundation and local high schools are piloting a ‘career exploration’ program that will be delivered to more than 120 students at four local high school campuses,” said Steve Seidner, Vice President of Seidner’s Collision Centers.
    “Everyone recognizes the shortage of employees in this industry; we believe by offering students opportunities to explore careers not just jobs, we may just attract some of these students to take a serious look at our business. And so we are extending support to the local high school student who might not otherwise have such a great opportunity.”
    Ron Ray, Executive Director of the I-CAR Education Foundation said, “The financial support of the collision industry is critical to help attract young people into the industry and develop the latest training materials for their schools. Seidner’s donation will directly support local schools and improve the availability of trained entry-level technicians in Southern California.”
    Alhambra Unified School District’s (AUSD) Automotive Programs at Alhambra, Mark Keppel and San Gabriel High School have been upgraded to include instruction on collision industry technology through the partnership with Seidner's Collision Centers. I-CAR Curriculum to teach our new classes and instructor training has been provided through Seidner’s. Without this generous support, the collision repair technology training would    not have been possible. Employees of Seidner’s have served on district advisory committees to provide input to define the needs of the industry. {mospagebreak}
    According to Brad Walsh, Coordinator of Career Preparation for AUSD, “The commitment from Seidner’s to this education/ industry partnership has resulted in our establishing our collision repair program at one school last year to an expansion to all three high schools in the fall semester. Without Seidner’s Collision Centers taking an active role, I can accurately say that we would not have these course offerings today.”
    “Not only is Seidner’s Collision Centers offering a student a chance to explore a career, Seidner’s is giving students outstanding opportunities. SCC also offers that student/trainee to immediately see the results of his or her efforts, while taking pride in their work, on each and every job. Most repair facilities offer on-the-job training; SCC allows a person who is hired as an assistant/trainee to work with a skilled technician to learn new repair techniques, a concept that involves technicians with different skill levels to make up a team,” said Gene Lopez, Director of Development of Seidner’s Collision Centers.
    “Seidner’s Collision Centers will use a team concept that allows individuals to choose which career path they wish to follow, like; refinish, or collision repair technician, or even a estimating/customer service representative.”
    Seidner’s offers scholarships toward some advanced training on current repair techniques offered through the Interindustry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, (I-CAR). All SCC refinish and collision repair technicians are required to become I-CAR certified.
    Seidner’s Collision Center is a 43-year-old family owned business with 11 locations in the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire communities of Southern California. Seidner’s Collision Centers employs over 200 technicians, estimators and administrative staff.