With the rapid changes taking place in vehicle technology, training is an important investment that will help every business thrive, according to John Van Alstyne, CEO of I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference of Auto Collision Repair).
“If you think about it in the context of critical repairs to vehicles and consumer safety, it’s an essential component to business survival,” said Van Alstyne. “If you aren’t educated on repair fundamentals, including new repair methods and skills that are prevalent today, what a particular OEM’s repair strategy is, how they designed and built that vehicle, what the OEM procedures are for repair, and know how to apply those methodologies, you will undoubtedly have a problem.”
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Van Alstyne about I-CAR’s ongoing initiatives to meet the industry’s needs and ensure vehicles are repaired correctly.
Can you share some of I-CAR’s milestones during 2020 amidst the coronavirus pandemic?
2020 has been quite a year for everybody---from an overall business perspective as well as personally, socially and politically.
I-CAR started the year transitioning into our new curriculum and credentialing updates that were part of the “Even Better I-CAR” program launched in October 2019. Both work together to raise the knowledge and skills bar to meet the industry’s rapidly changing needs and utilize more sophisticated technology to help shops perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of consumers.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus broke out. Our principal focus was to ensure the safety of our customers, instructors and employees. Like others, we had to pivot on a dime.
We made some adjustments to how we delivered training and with our credentialing programs. Our industry relief program offered credentialing grace periods and deferrals, as well as financial assistance.
We could not send instructors out into the field until early June, when they again began...