Wednesday, 22 November 2017 13:42

I-CAR Collision Repair Program at WKCTC in KY Saves Students Money

Paducah resident Brandon Gossett is the first student at West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) to receive I-CAR Pro Level 1 certification in painting and refinishing.

Gossett's accomplishment of receiving the industry-recognized certification was announced during the Nov. 16 ceremony naming the Collision Repair Technology Classroom at WKCTC in memory of B.A. Hamilton.

Hamilton, a local businessman and founder of the collision repair technology program at WKCTC, died on Jan. 26, 2017, at the age of 79.

Craig Dickerson, collision repair technology program coordinator and part-time I-CAR instructor, said the collision repair technology program, which was founded by Hamilton in 1962, continues to be an instrumental part of student success. 

"We want to be a stepping stone to a better career for these students," Dickerson told the audience at the Hamilton dedication. "We want our graduates to be successful. And we want to provide the necessary tools to make that possible."

With that in mind, WKCTC's collision repair technology program has recently adopted the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, or I-CAR, curriculum to ensure students are kept abreast of ongoing changes in Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) technology, materials, manufacturing capabilities and standards.

Collision repair technicians fix damaged bodies and body parts of automotive vehicles such as cars, vans, trucks, buses, campers and trailers. WKCTC collision repair technology students learn about the constant technological changes within the industry and how it is now necessary for collision repair technicians to become skilled in plastic repair, aluminum repair, welding and the application of waterborne materials such as basecoats and primers. Hands-on training is provided by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified Master Collision Repair and Refinish Technician, and meets National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) standards.

Dickerson said he has qualified to teach each of the more than 30+ classes in the I-CAR curriculum by successfully completing an I-CAR technical evaluation. 

"We're a NATEF-accredited program, so there's a crosswalk with this curriculum that shows where each one of the tasks required by NATEF for us to teach is covered by these classes," he said.

The addition of the I-CAR curriculum, at no additional cost to WKCTC collision repair students, offers students potential benefits they may not find at other institutions. In fact, before this curriculum was added at WKCTC, getting the I-CAR training and certification would require students to travel outside their communities, Dickerson said.

"We're able to offer this curriculum to them here to help them with gaining employment, so it [saves on costs] for them,” Dickerson said. “Realistically, if they were receiving this training after they were employed, their employer would probably be paying for the training themselves. It just makes them more marketable as a technician. It's something really good to put on their resume---that they already have $4,000--$5,000 worth of training."

For more information about WKCTC's Collision Repair Technology program, contact Craig Dickerson at craig.dickerson@kctcs.edu or (270) 534-3414.