A new position statement related to what is---and isn’t---included in vehicle scan charges, and a plea for information about any school’s collision repair training programs that is struggling, were among the topics at the first Collision Industry Conference (CIC) of 2021, held virtually online in January.
George Arrants of the ASE Education Foundation said his organization is seeking information on upcoming meeting dates for any industry advisory committees for collision repair training programs at any U.S. schools---particularly for any such program that is struggling or in danger of being closed.
Arrants contends “the pipeline containing the future workforce is collapsing,” offering some indirect evidence of a not insignificant decline in the number of such programs.
S/P2, he said, which offers online safety and pollution prevention training used by some automotive training programs, reported 22,735 collision repair students took the training in 2020, down nearly 37% from 2019.
That decline can’t be blamed on the pandemic; the number of students in automotive service or heavy-duty truck training programs who took S/P2 training rose by as much as 2% in 2020 compared to the previous year.
Arrants also said of the more than 900 collision repair training programs around the country, 17 ASE-accredited programs went inactive this year---and potentially another 26 could in the next few months---and 87 schools dropped their I-CAR subscriptions last year.
Arrants said because industry advisory committee meetings have largely moved online during the pandemic, it is easier for his organization and others seeking to support such programs anywhere in the country to attend to help struggling programs or those slated to be shuttered.
“We need to know those programs that are in jeopardy as early as possible,” Arrants said. “If we wait to find out about a program that’s struggling, once spring break is over, those decisions have been made by [school] administrators and there’s nothing we can do to reverse it. We need to know as quickly as possible to get them the help they need now.”
Anyone aware of industry advisory committee meeting dates can reach Arrants by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also during the meeting, the Automotive Service Association shared a draft of...