2024 Collision Training Expo Has Something for Everyone on Repair Shop Staff

The event, now in its second year, offers educational opportunities for managers, owners, estimators and technicians.

Attendees of the 2023 CTE participate in a welding class led by Wesco.

The Northwest Auto Care Alliance (NWACA) is hosting its second annual Collision Training Expo (CTE), May 3-4 at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, WA.

The inaugural CTE in 2023 was such a success, it has been expanded from one to two full days of training classes and a trade show.

The event is designed for everyone in a collision repair shop, including managers, owners, estimators and technicians, to help them keep up with evolving technology, enhance their skills, improve safety in their workplaces and make sure their shops are meeting state regulations and standards.

Micah Strom, collision chair of NWACA and the owner of Modern Collision Rebuild and Service in Bainbridge Island, WA, said the NWACA hosted a training expo for mechanical shops for 20 years and felt it was time to offer the same to its collision shop members.

“We started the CTE for our members and for the industry in general, to get some good training out there,” Strom said. “There’s not a lot [of collision training] here in the Northwest, and that’s why we put this together.”

CTE is open to the entire collision repair industry. The cost to attend is $175 for NWACA members and $250 for non-members. Visit ctetrainingexpo.com for more information and to register.

Strom said there are a lot of returning sponsors from the first CTE, including CCC, ATI, 3M and Wesco, but there are also several new sponsors, which reached out after last year’s event to ask to participate in 2024.

“They realized what a success it was,” Strom said. “This is the first event like this in the Idaho-Washington-Oregon area, where you can send the whole shop to it, because it covers everything.”

Among the new sponsors are I-CAR, whose lead subject matter expert, Jeff Poole, is teaching “EV Overview and Considerations,” and Hunter Engineering, which is sponsoring “Collision Alignments” and “Wheel Alignment Fundamentals,” taught by Ken Sumerlin.

There will be several hands-on classes.

“Spray Efficiency Training,” sponsored by PPRC, will show painters, using a VR system, how to improve their paint spray efficiency and consistency, reducing both hazardous waste and materials costs.

A dent-pulling demo, led by Ben Else with Industrial Finishes, will show attendees how to use a GYS steel and aluminum dent repair system, as well as a glue pulling system.

Chris Pope of Wesco will lead a hands-on resistance welding workshop, and Stephen Flaiz will lead “What to Do When Calibrations Don’t Go as Planned!”

Other educational sessions will cover everything from complying with Washington State’s Automotive Repair Act to understanding your shop’s key numbers so you can grow your business.

Finally, a Shop Owner Roundtable will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. May 4 to bring together owners and managers to discuss the issues they are facing and learn from each other.

Abby Andrews

Abby Andrews is the editor and regular columnist of Autobody News.

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