Collision Engineering Program Expands to Southeast with New Partner School

Sandhills Community College is now offering the industry-leading program to improve the collision repair talent pipeline.

Sandhills-Community-College-Pinehurst-NC-Collision-Engineering-Program
Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, NC.

Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, NC, will offer the innovative Collision Engineering program as part of its existing collision repair and refinishing technology program.

Founded by the Enterprise Mobility Foundation and Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO, the Collision Engineering program aims to help fill the more than 110,000 collision technician job openings expected through 2027. With the addition of Sandhills Community College -- the first school in the Southeast to offer the program -- it is now partnered with eight schools around the U.S., including Ranken Technical College; College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL; Contra Costa College in San Pablo, CA; Texas State Technical College in Waco, TX; Parkland College in Champaign, IL, and Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, NE.

The program offers a defined two-year apprenticeship model, through which students receive real-world experience by working alongside technicians in repair facilities while also earning their associate's degree. This unique model provides students the opportunity to earn an income while completing their training.

“We always want the best for our students, and the opportunities the Collision Engineering program offers are unmatched,” said Brian Garner, Sandhills transportation department chair and instructor. “The program’s unique model will offer eight weeks in class, then eight weeks at a paid apprenticeship with a local employer, putting the skills learned in the classroom to work. This will help change students' lives with a great start to a great career in the automotive collision industry.”

“We look forward to expanding the reach of our program in North Carolina to streamline industry advancements within local communities across the U.S.,” said John Helterbrand, Collision Engineering national program director. “Our approach is to address the talent shortage regionally, starting with the colleges we serve, with the aim of improving training methods by bringing the industry and educational institutions together through a collaborative partnership.”

The Collision Engineering program’s unique two-year apprenticeship model not only increases the number of qualified technicians to address the ongoing industry technician shortage and skills gap, but also offers advanced education and ever-expanding career opportunities for participating students.

“As a leading provider of mobility solutions, Enterprise Mobility recognizes the need to fill tens of thousands of jobs at collision repair businesses due to the ongoing technician shortage and skills gap,” said Enterprise Mobility Vice President Mary Mahoney. “As the program expands, we continue to work closely with industry partners to ensure our training meets the latest trends and advancements of today’s vehicles, enhances students’ education and career prospects, and opens doors for them faster.”  

Sandhills’ collision repair and refinishing technology program is currently accepting applications for the first cohort of Collision Engineering students, with classes beginning later this year. For more information, visit www.beacollisionengineer.com or contact Brian Garner at garnerd@sandhills.edu.

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