Mike’s Auto Body’s Metal Technician Training Program, held at our ADAC (Auto Damage Assessment Center) facility in Antioch, recently announced its fifth graduating class. After four months of intensive instruction, our five new Metal Technician apprentices now have the foundation to move into the next phase of the program.
In order to complete this comprehensive two-year training program, all graduates undergo classroom training coupled with hands-on training to perform repairs of various metals and plastics. They also learn panel removal and vehicle construction basics. These graduates have already achieved I-CAR Training Pro Level 1 and are now fully Car-O-Liner certified.
The program’s instructor and administrator, Lupe Algood has now seen a total of 22 students who have successfully completed this first phase of the program, and his current students are now working on production teams with their journeyman mentors in many of the Mike’s locations
“All five graduates have accepted full-time positions from us, and are presently working at one of our 16 locations,” Algood explained. “We are monitoring their performance and growth as they work closely with their mentors. We also meet with them on a regular basis as they move towards finishing their two-year apprentice agreements.”
Established in January of 2016, the Mike’s Metal Technician training program has received accolades from the collision repair industry for its success and outstanding results, Algood said. “We have gotten praise from our insurance partners, vendors, jobbers and even a few of our competitors. They recognize that we are producing young professionals who will become an integral part of our company for many years to come. We are constantly getting phone calls from people who want to enter the program and we now have a waitlist. There is a huge shortage of qualified metal technicians in this industry and with our program, we are filling this void. By providing our own training programs, we are able to show them the “Mike’s” way. It’s great to watch them as they progress and learn.”
Algood does the lion’s share of the training, but also receives help from other members of the Mike’s Auto Body management team and various vendors as well. Information Technology and Compliance Manager Rick Rehm shows the students how to read work orders and other industry-specific documentation. We also bring in some of our technicians periodically to share their knowledge and experience in collision repair.
Marketing Manager, Dane Dearlove talks to the students about our company culture and the administrative side of the business. “We truly believe that this program creates career opportunities for the young men and women in the communities we work and live in,” Dearlove said. “This results in a win for our insurance partners, a win for the communities we work in, and a win for Mikes Auto Body employees.”
“Our training programs also conduct a series of field trips, allowing the students to learn by getting out into the industry and seeing different aspects of it firsthand,” Algood said. Mikes Auto Body has designed a curriculum where trainees can interface with multiple companies. “We have visited with 3M and FinishMaster and have taken the students on tours of many of our locations, including our newest location in Alameda,” he said. “We want to set them up for success, and we have the resources to do it, so it has become a program we can all be proud of. We support and encourage them to commit to the industry and this company and we have seen great results. Several of the graduates from our very first class are pursuing Platinum I-CAR certifications. After completing the two-year internship program, they will become full-fledged metal technicians. It’s exciting to watch how they progress. I have two sons who have graduated from this program” Algood revealed. “It is satisfying to see them follow in my footsteps by finding great careers in the collision repair industry.”
The next six-week training is our Painter’s Helper (Prepper) program beginning in August and then Plastic Welding and Bumper Repair in late October of this year.