When Nick Notte speaks to students across the country who are considering a job in the collision repair industry, he often shares his personal experience.
The current senior vice president of sales for I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) always had an interest in cars. He was able to turn that passion into a lifelong career and is now around vehicles every day.
“The feedback you get from these kids is tremendous,” said Notte. “You can truly change their minds and convince them that collision repair is a good way to go.”
Formed in 1979, I-CAR is dedicated to providing the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs. The not-for-profit organization provides a variety of educational and training recognition programs for the collision repair industry.
“I-CAR will soon offer 267 different courses to keep the industry on pace with technology innovation and skills development,” said Notte.
With a strong network of more than 1,600 volunteers, I-CAR has formed 189 committees that share information about the value of training in the industry. These volunteers are active in a local committee, all of which support and promote I-CAR’s mission.
“Knowing that the committees are as passionate as they are and knowing there is a technician shortage, we set some career goals for our committees,” said Notte.
Several of these goals are aligned with the work currently being done by the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) to help encourage young people to pursue careers in the collision repair industry. I-CAR has a long history with CREF dating back to 1991 and works closely with the organization on many of its initiatives. Read about these initiatives in the previous Solving the Tech Shortage column.
One of the ways they work together is through the career fairs CREF organizes in major markets across the U.S. As the demand for career fairs continues to grow, CREF is asking I-CAR to organize local industry gatherings. This coincides with one of I-CAR’s committee goals—to complete a public-facing event, such as a career night at a local middle school or high school, a parade or NABC Recycled Rides gifting. The intent is to highlight the value of collision repair and promote I-CAR to the general public.