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Thursday, 08 October 2020 17:41

Beth Rutter Shares Sneak Peek of Pilot Program

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Beth Rutter recently spoke about the Pilot Program at the St. Louis I-CAR Committee’s September virtual meeting.  Beth Rutter recently spoke about the Pilot Program at the St. Louis I-CAR Committee’s September virtual meeting. 

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Working as an independent consultant with the program, Rutter’s role includes easing the students’ transition from the class to shop rotation, and last year, she developed and led a one-day workshop for mentors and mentees to learn effective communication. She is currently building online training for this year’s virtual world.

 

As with any aspect of the collision repair industry, obstacles must be overcome as the Pilot Program gains speed.

 

“It’s a lot of work,” Rutter said. “We have to implement a brand-new curriculum, and the rules for doing that vary by state. In order to be ASE-accredited, the college is required to hold advisory committee meetings, and that means getting the industry involved.

 

"We’re kind of building a bridge as we’re walking across it, but once the colleges build relationships with their local collision repair industry, I believe it will take on a momentum of its own.”

 

Depending on how the school lays out its curriculum, the program can take up to two years, but by graduation, the student has a degree and real-world experience.

 

For participating collision repair facilities, “it’s like a two-year interview where the student, subject to normal employment parameters, becomes inculcated into the shop’s culture over that time,” Rutter said. “Students get the benefit of going to a college that provides a robust education, which helps them get hired.”

 

Retention is another goal of the program. Nearly half of the students who graduate collision repair programs leave the industry within two years, according to Rutter.


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