Mike's Auto Body's Training Program in Full Swing

Mike's Auto Body's Training Program in Full Swing

To fill a growing need for new, fresh talent and to create the metal technicians and estimators of the future, Mike’s Auto Body will soon be holding their first graduation from its new training program at its Auto Damage Assessment Center (ADAC) in Antioch, CA.

With a 10,000-square-foot facility dedicated to training the region's newest collision professionals, this 15-location MSO is proud of their program and currently looking for new candidates to enter the industry by completing its curriculum, which combines classroom instruction with hands-on training.

A limited number of applicants were interviewed and selected to participate in the company's inaugural six-month training session. The training curriculum is delivered within a condensed time frame that has been expressly designed so that participants can enter the industry with a complete understanding of the collision repair process. After successfully completing the program, graduates will possess the skills and knowledge to physically perform entry-level, hands-on vehicle repairs, according to Brennan Rose, the company's CEO.

"For the past five years we have been faced with the same challenge--finding talented technicians," Rose explained. "Every year, we threaten to break the mold and start over, but we never do it, because the cost of creating and sustaining a long-term, full-time training program is overwhelming for any small business. Not only did we have to hire two full-time trainers and purchase tools and equipment, but allocating 10,000 square feet of production/classroom space is hard to justify."

Although the investment in starting the program was substantial, Brennan Rose is proud of what his company has already achieved. "As we close out our first class and see how far these four young men have come, I now know that this will be part of our business strategy and culture for years to come," Rose said. "Not only are we building techs and estimators to help us grow in the future and giving them the necessary skills, we are also supporting our local community for those young folks who have no college ambitions."

David Wedding, the company's business development manager as well as the program's coordinator and head instructor, has played an integral role in the development of this program. "The students are going to learn every aspect of the industry--metal and plastic repairs; safety techniques; efficiency; panel removal and vehicle construction," Wedding said. "They also have the luxury of using cars provided by LKQ, right in the same location as our training facility. These participants will also receive I-CAR training through Pro Level 1 and be Car-O-Liner certified when they graduate. After they complete this six-month program, they will be prepared for employment and ready to hit the ground running."

The instructors in the program are highly experienced and certified in their respective fields of expertise to ensure this condensed program fully impacts the students. One of the instructors is Lupe Algood, a journeyman technician with more than 20 years in the industry. By tapping into some of the most knowledgeable people in the collision industry, Mike's Auto Body will have one of the best training programs of its type in the country.

"This program is ideal for young people who are just out of high school, the military or junior college," Dane Dearlove, the company's marketing and sales manager, explained. "By going through our program, they will be 100% prepared to excel."

Mike's Auto Body is looking for the right people to embrace and take advantage of this opportunity, Dearlove stated. "We're going to have top teachers training on the industry's best cutting-edge equipment so that these students will be set up to succeed. We want to enable them to pursue a lifelong career in collision repair, and by committing to this program, they can achieve exactly that."

With many of its business partners onboard to provide assistance with their training program, Brennan Rose is pleased and grateful. "I'd like to take this opportunity to give a huge thank you to our local vendors who have been supporting this program," he said. "We could not accomplish this without the help of 3M, LKQ, Finishmaster, PPG, the Rose Family and PFC, just to name a few."

For more information about this program, contact either David Wedding at dwedding@mikesautobody.com or Dane Dearlove at dane@mikesautobody.com.

Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist and Autobody News columnist based in San Francisco.

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