Contra Costa College offers high school collision repair camp

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Contra Costa College offers high school collision repair camp

By Lurah Bassey
on
Collision Repair | Education

Contra Costa College (CCC) in California will offer a two-day collision repair and automotive service pilot program for high school students and recent high school graduates on June 21 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Called “CCC Automotive Camp,” the free program will include hands-on learning and shop tours for participants and aims to bring enrollment in the college’s collision engineering apprenticeship program back to pre-pandemic levels. Laura Lozano, co-chair of the automotive department and professor of collision repair technology, said it was also a chance to introduce the program to high school students.

During the camp, students will have the chance to learn and try welding, paint finishing and changing wheels. They will also hear from current students and graduates of the program as well as industry professionals, including potential employers, about what it is like to work in the industry.

“We hope to make more of these events available to the community and high schools to raise awareness of our program, our industry, the industry tech shortage and the [CCC] collision engineering program,” Lozano said.

Students who have just graduated from high school and decide to enroll in CCC’s Collision Engineering Apprenticeship Program will be offered assistance with enrollment during the automotive camp. CCC hopes to fill 25 new spots in the program, Lozano said.

Enterprise Holdings and Ranken Technical College launched the program at four colleges last year “to address a paradigm shift in the transportation industry as it faces a major shortage of technicians,” according to a statement from ‘Enterprise News. “With nearly 80,000 new collision technicians needed between 2020 and 2024, according to the TechForce Foundation, the demand significantly outstrips the ever-dwindling supply of post-secondary collision technicians. Meanwhile, the current rapid pace of vehicle innovation and connectivity requires technicians to have expertise not only in automotive repair, but also in technology and engineering.

Amber Alley, director of Barsotti’s Body and Fender in California and a member of CCC’s Collision Repair Advisory Board, said now is the time for shops not involved in local collision repair programs to participate.

“I personally think that’s it at this point,” she said. “Traditional body repair tech programs aren’t necessarily tied to shop needs and wants. Often, therefore, they are treated more like amateurs. … This is a program in which they are really committed to developing the skills necessary for these graduates to build a career.

Alley recently hired a current CCC collision engineering student full-time and hopes to hire a second student this fall.

It’s clear, she added, that CCC takes shop feedback seriously and has a strong connection to the local collision repair community. “It will only work if the workshops support it, have a voice in it and make sure it goes in the direction that we as employers need.”

To register for the high school summer program, click here. To learn more about the collision engineering program, visit contracosta.edu/classes/academic-departments/automotive-collision-repair.

Incoming high school students interested in the mechanical side of the automotive industry may want to check out Universal Technical Institute’s (UTI) free “Ignite” summer program, which covers how vehicles are designed and manufactured. ; how gasoline and diesel engines work; basic diagnostic, maintenance and repair skills; management and control computer systems; steps to safely maintain hydraulic brakes; and information on career opportunities for qualified technicians.

The first sessions of the 2022 sessions have resumed at full capacity in Avondale, Arizona; Lisle, Illinois, and Orlando, Florida on Monday. The second sessions will begin on the Avondale and Lisle campuses on June 27.

Other program sessions and locations include:

  • Austin, Texas – Session 1: June 27 to July 15 and Session 2: July 18 to August 5;
  • Bloomfield, New York – July 18 to August 5;
  • Dallas, Texas – Session 1: June 27 to July 15 and Session 2: July 18 to August 5;
  • Exton, Pennsylvania – Session 1: June 27 to July 15 and Session 2: July 18 to August 5;
  • Houston, Texas – Session 1: June 27 to July 15 and Session 2: July 18 to August 5;
  • Long Beach, California – Session 1: June 27 to July 15 and Session 2: July 18 to August 5;
  • Mooresville, North Carolina – Session 1: July 18 to August 5
  • Phoenix, Arizona – Session 1: June 13 to July 1;
  • Rancho Cucamonga, California – Session 1: June 27 to July 15 and Session 2: July 18 to August 5; and
  • Sacramento, Calif. – June 27 to July 15.

Students can apply for UTI.edu/Ignite.

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Featured Image Credit: Malkovstock/iStock

More information

CIC Panel: Wages and Public Perception of Collision Industry Contribute to Tech Shortage

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