Wreck/Rebuild Program Continues to Benefit NY Auto Body Students

Alfred State College students recently repaired a collision-damaged Dodge Avenger to like-new condition.

An Alfred State College student with the recently repaired car.

Alfred State College auto body students continue to gain hands-on, real-world experience through the wreck/rebuild program funded by the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc.

Students in the auto body repair major, led by CJ Tremper and Brad Smith, enhance their skillsets by fixing wrecking vehicles and gaining insight into what it is like to work inside a collision shop. Tremper and Smith teach and work alongside students throughout their time in the program.

Vehicles are secured through funding provided by the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., a private foundation dedicated to improving the Alfred State community through the support of educational programs. The foundation possesses a New York State automobile dealer’s license that allows the college to purchase wrecked cars from an auto salvage auction, which are then used for hands-on projects. The foundation covers the cost of purchasing these cars and any parts or materials needed to bring them back to pre-accident condition.

“These cars are great learning tools for our students,” said Tremper. “The repairs that the students perform are like what they will see when they get into the workplace. Challenges like this force our students to step up their skills and reinforces what they have learned during their time in this program.”

Recently the students completed work on a 2014 Dodge Avenger with front end damage and two deployed airbags. Students replaced panels, painted the car, and installed new airbags. The radiator and air conditioning were damaged, so students diagnosed and replaced what was needed. To get the car back on the road, the students performed a complete inspection and found the vehicle also needed new brake pads, rotors and a front-end alignment.

“All of these things brought the big picture together as to why students need to learn all the different systems in a vehicle. Projects like this give the students a real life look at what they might experience in a collision shop after graduation.”

A Board of Directors made up of representatives from alumni, College Council, faculty and staff, and friends of the college govern the activities pursued by the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc. The foundation supports learning opportunities for students through scholarships and community service projects.

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