David Cesar, 31, who has been working on cars his whole life, recently enrolled in a collision repair program so he could “learn how to fix everything on a vehicle.”
“I think anyone entering this field through a technical school has a better chance at succeeding because they’ll be learning all of the necessary skills at a slower pace with less stress,” Cesar said. “And having a degree will increase my chances of getting a job, because the collision shop will know I completed training, and when I open my own shop, customers will be able to see the same thing.”
The Sheboygan, WI, native said he decided on Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, WI, after hearing good reviews from previous students. Cesar’s collision repair instructor at Lakeshore, William “Jack” Charles, recommended him for the Techs of Tomorrow column.
“David is mature and a hard worker; he listens and applies the principles I am teaching,” Charles said. “I can trust David to do quality work with minimal supervision. He is developing skills to become a world class repair technician.”
Cesar added his experience working in Jack’s class has been great.
“He is a very knowledgeable guy with plenty of skills to get any job done,” Cesar said. “I have learned everything I need to be a successful collision repair technician from each course I have taken with him.”
Cesar said his favorite courses so far have been panel repair and color matching.
“My favorite projects consist of fixing a damaged hood and painting it multiple colors, as well as painting the front end of a 1977 Corvette,” he added.
After working at multiple body shops, Cesar said it is a similar experience to what he does daily at school.
“Right before I enrolled in school, I was a paint prep technician at a shop,” he said. “The main difference between a shop and school is the faster pace of a shop environment.”
In a body shop setting, Cesar said he struggled most with time management, especially when he first started out, while in class, he is more challenged by learning all new skills and procedures.
Cesar’s graduation from Lakeshore is set for May 2021.
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