3M™ Skills Development Center Hosts Grand Opening

3M instructor Shawn Collins working with Russell Achhammer.

The new 15,000-square-foot training facility is dedicated to upskilling technicians and fostering talent in the collision repair industry.

3M on Oct. 11 announced the grand opening of the 3M™ Skills Development Center, a new 15,000-square-foot state-of-the-art training facility in St. Paul, MN, dedicated to educating and upskilling technicians across all experience levels on the most updated automotive collision repair and refinishing processes through intensive, hands-on training.

Autobody News' Stacey Phillips in August had the chance to tour the facility and speak to collision repair instructors from across the country attending a four-day training program.

“With rapidly changing vehicle technology and a shortage of qualified collision repair technicians, investment in training is crucial to today’s aftermarket," said Dave Gunderson, president, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “Whether technicians are here to deepen their skills, challenge their own experiences or learn from experts to broaden their knowledge of collision repair, we want the 3M Skills Development Center to be the source of continuing education for industry leaders.”

The 3M Skills Development Center further builds on 3M’s commitment to investing in training for skilled trades. The facility complements the company’s suite of online training programs available through the 3M™ Collision Repair Academy, offering a dedicated physical space for technicians to experience comprehensive and hands-on training courses led by seasoned collision repair experts. 

Core to the 3M Skills Development Center are multi-day training courses for technicians focused on body repair, paint preparation and refinishing. And with an eye toward bringing new talent into the trades, each summer the 3M Skills Development Center also hosts vocational technical instructors from across the country for intensive training courses on proper OEM repair procedures. 

Leading instruction at the 3M Skills Development Center is a dedicated and passionate staff of seasoned collision repair veterans who bring more than 85 years of combined industry experience and expertise in OEM repair procedures and requirements, with 60 of those years spent working on the shop floor as technicians. 

With the new, dedicated training facility and training staff, 3M will be able to accommodate more than 100 training sessions annually, providing hands-on education to more than 1,000 technicians and associated industry professionals.

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