On Tuesday, Oct. 15, the Long Island Autobody Repairmen’s Association (LIABRA) held its October General Meeting at Eagle Chevrolet in Riverhead, NY.
Representatives from General Motors were present to provide information on becoming a GM Collision Repair Network facility and to deliver an aluminum welding repair presentation, plus I-CAR advised attendees how to train for the “technical tsunami” facing the collision repair industry. According to LIABRA Executive Director Ed Kizenberger, “The meeting was very well attended with over 75 industry participants.”
Attendees enjoyed a buffet dinner courtesy of meeting sponsor Eagle Chevrolet, and Kizenberger called the meeting to order at 8 p.m., informing attendees that the New York State Labor Department has recently been making surprise visits to Long Island collision repair facilities. He urged them to keep their employee labor records in good order and offered his advice if needed.
Kizenberger also addressed the issues shops have experienced obtaining GM parts due to the strike, and he advised LIABRA members to instruct customers to call GM with parts complaints. After confirming attendees’ interest, Kizenberger announced that a full-day Advanced Estimating class will be scheduled in early 2020.
The first guest speaker of the evening was I-CAR’s Paul D. Hill who spoke about the “technical tsunami” inundating the collision repair industry, how I-CAR supports the evolving needs of the industry, and their new professional development program v. 2.0. Hill stated, “The complexity of the vehicles you’re repairing and the skills needed to repair them are rapidly changing, and training is vital – now more than ever.”
Noting that currently, 65% of shops are not engaging in continuous training and education, Hill discussed I-CAR’s new enhanced training program. He explained how members can transition from the old program to the newly enhanced program, including how to transfer credits, and he explored the courses and programs offered. His presentation concluded with a question-and-answer session.
Kizenberger then introduced GM’s Jeffrey Shaw who distributed GM aluminum welding and repair student handbooks.