John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).

He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Wednesday, 11 August 2021 08:54

Schools Could Focus on Teaching Fewer Auto Body Skills More Thoroughly

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...narrowing the set of skills students are encouraged to master last year as a possible way to expand the pool of collision repair training programs in schools, particularly at the high school level.


Gene Lopez, who co-chaired the committee at that time, said 25 years of industry surveys conducted by the Collision Repair Education Foundation have shown those top five tasks shops expect an entry-level technician to be able to perform have remained remarkably consistent over that quarter century.


Gene Lopez web

Gene Lopez


The best training programs produce entry-level workers with these skills and far more, and that shouldn’t change, Lopez suggested. But a new high school program that focuses on just those five, along with some training in safety, employability and soft skills, would have far “less of a burden on budget requirements for equipment, tools and materials in these high schools,” Lopez said.


It also could expand the pool of potential instructors qualified to teach such programs, leading to “a renewed acceptance of collision technology in our high school systems,” he said.


Lopez said too often schools offer training “that’s a mile wide but only an inch deep.”


“They can’t spend enough time on those top five skill sets because they’re introducing welding, frame straightening and estimating, which really isn’t a need for an entry-level technician,” he said.


But adding more training programs, even if they just focus on the “keystone of learning in collision repair,” could introduce more employable entry-level workers to the industry. 


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