“Having a strong pipeline of skilled collision repair technicians is critical to the long-term growth of the automotive industry,” said Troy Weaver, Axalta vice president of Global Refinish. “Axalta is proud to be a part of the solution by supporting the young men and women who receive training from the CREF and who compete in their skills tests. The skills they are learning today will be invaluable assets for the collision repair industry tomorrow.”
Kevin Creegan of Saint Gobain Abrasives added, “The competition’s goals of improving technician retention, and promoting a culture of mentorship at the shop level, are consistent with our vision for the collision repair industry. Congratulations to the competition winners, and thank you to all participants and their sponsoring companies!”
Battaglia previously explained the motivation behind CREF’s Top Tech Mentor and Mentee Competition, “Each year, the collision industry faces a critical shortage in the number of new technicians entering the industry. Worse, many repair facilities have been challenged by delivering effective mentoring programs for these new technicians to grow their abilities and prosper in the industry. As a result, too many new technicians leave the industry after just a few years, exacerbating the shortage. This new competition is designed to recognize the accomplishments of successful mentors and technicians, and also highlight how it is a strategy for employee retention.”
The feedback that CREF has received about the Inaugural Top Tech Competition has been overwhelmingly positive. Battaglia shared, “Everyone wants to do it again, and there’s enough energy and excitement around it that we’d like to do it again – hopefully on an annual basis! There’s definitely enough momentum, and we hope to be able to announce the next competition early next year. One interesting suggestion that we’d like to incorporate in the next event is assigning tasks to mentors as well, rather than having them merely observe and assist as needed.”
Companies interested in participating as competitors or sponsors for the 2020 Top Tech Mentor and Mentee competition should email Christen.Battaglia@ed-foundation.org.