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Monday, 14 September 2020 19:07

Alfred State Instructor Shifts from Improving Vehicles to Enhancing Students’ Futures

Alfred State instructor CJ Tremper brings years of real-world knowledge and experience to the classroom and labs. Alfred State instructor CJ Tremper brings years of real-world knowledge and experience to the classroom and labs. Alfred State photo

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With years of real-world experience and an Alfred (NY) State education in his toolbox, automotive trades instructor CJ Tremper is now steering future auto body professionals toward the road to success.

Growing up in Avoca, NY, Tremper became interested in working on automobiles thanks to his dad, who taught shop class at Avoca Central School.

 

“He is a car guy and I was always helping him work on things when there was an opportunity,” Tremper said. “He taught me the basics of automotive repair and just how to fix things that were broken.”

 

Initially, Tremper was interested in becoming an automotive service technician, but an older friend who performed autobody work at the local BOCES changed his mind. At the time, Tremper was working at a local auto salvage yard, which bought and sold wrecked vehicles that could be fixed.

 

“I spent much of my time in high school fixing a totaled Chevy K5 Blazer that I bought from the salvage yard,” he said. “That was my first big autobody project and I enjoyed taking something that had been a complete wreck and making it roadworthy again.”

 

Tremper furthered his education and gained even more hands-on experience in Alfred State’s auto body repair program, which he graduated from in 1999. After earning his degree, Tremper worked in several collision shops through December 2005, developing his skills as an autobody technician and painter.

 

In January 2006, he transitioned into automotive restoration when he started working at RJ Cars in Arkport, NY.

 

“At the collision shops, I started out as a body man fixing dents and changing panels,” he said. “As I developed those skills, I also began to do some basic paint work. By the time I was ready to transition from auto collision to restoration, I was doing a lot of painting---probably about a 50-50 mix of repair work vs. paint work at that point. When I got hired at RJ Cars, I was the most experienced tech there other than the shop owner.”


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