Scan Tools from Repairify Institute Support Texas School’s Ability to Train Collision Repair Techs

Elias Alba, director of Collin College's automotive and collision technology program, builds partnerships within the industry to benefit his students.

Elias Alba is the head of the automotive and collision technology program at Collin College.

The Repairify Institute recently donated $180,000 in scan tools to the automotive and collision technology program at Collin College in North Texas. Under the visionary leadership of Elias Alba, the program's director, the donation will greatly impact how students learn and prepare for their careers in the evolving automotive industry.

Alba, previously an automotive professor at Dallas College, has served in his current role at Collin College for two years. A resourceful and forward-thinking leader, he leverages relationships with some of the largest OEMs and vendors to equip students with the best tools and knowledge, ensuring they stand out in a competitive field.

Alba said Repairify’s scan tool donation is the largest equipment donation the school has received to date. The Autel brand of scan tools, Alba believes, will be a great addition to the college’s resources as they are user-friendly.

“This donation will make a huge difference for our students,” said Alba.

Repairify donation web

The college is organizing and preparing the scan tools for use in individual repair stations during the fall semester. Until this donation, the program had six scan tools for 30 students, often causing delays as students waited to check out the necessary tools. Now, the number of available scan tools will exceed 34, drastically improving accessibility and proficiency in students’ repair skills.

“This donation means our students can be faster and more proficient in their studies and repair skills,” Alba explained. “The increased availability of tools will significantly reduce wait times, allowing students to maximize their hands-on learning experiences.” Alba is confident incoming students will be thrilled with the additional resources available when they return in the fall.

Alba also plans to distribute more than 50 excess tools to local North Texas automotive programs, particularly schools in rapidly growing cities around Collin County.

Alba is deeply grateful to Repairify for its generous donation. “We will steward it well and look forward to sharing these tools with high schools whose budgets are much tighter,” he said.

Collin College is situated in Collin County, which includes cities such as Plano, McKinney and Frisco. The area's burgeoning population, along with the strong regional presence of major companies like Toyota, Subaru and Kubota, has led to a demand for skilled automotive professionals.

The school's automotive and collision technology program, housed at the Technical Campus in Allen, boasts 250 students, including credit and continuing education participants. When it began in 2020, it had an enrollment of 10 students in the collision program. At the end of the spring 2024 semester, enrollment had increased to 54 collision students.

Collin College also collaborates with local high schools in Frisco, Allen and McKinney, supporting dual-credit programs that allow high school students to earn community college credits. Alba said the program has outgrown its facilities in just four short years, with classes now held Monday through Saturday to accommodate the high enrollment numbers.

Alba employs innovative strategies to manage this growth, such as staggering classes and continually seeking new faculty hires. Despite the challenges, including the difficulty of offering competitive salaries compared to industry positions, Alba remains committed to expanding the program’s capabilities. Currently, he is looking to fill a full-time position for a collision education instructor.

Relationship-building is key to Alba's role, as he works closely with local employers, independent shops, dealerships and collision entities like Car-O-Liner. Alba’s partnership with Car-O-Liner, developed over two years and finalized last spring, has been particularly beneficial. Car-O-Liner provides technical training and donates software for its equipment, such as welders. It has a full-time employee who is part of the faculty at Collin College.

Collin College is also involved in SkillsUSA, and one of its collision students will compete at the upcoming national competition, June 24-28 in Atlanta, GA.

Leona Scott

Contributing Writer
With extensive experience in the auto care industry and working for nonprofits, Leona D. Scott has dedicated years to crafting compelling content for print... Read More

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