For nearly 20 years, the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division has been helping collision repair students competing at the SkillsUSA National Championships prepare for careers in the collision repair field. Again in 2014, 3M automotive experts will provide the training, staffing and judging for the paint refininshing and collision repair technology competitions, along with an array of products and tools for the students.
“It’s always exciting to get to work with the students who are competing at this level,” said Mark Algie, business development manager for 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “These are the best of the best in the country, and represent the future of our industry. We want to make sure they are learning the latest techniques in collision repair and using the products and tools needed for today’s advanced vehicles.”
3M will provide the segment leaders for two competitions: Automotive Refinish Technology – Masking Segment and Collision Repair Technology – Plastic Repair Segment.
Contestants in the Automotive Refinish Technology competition will be asked to perform jobs and skills based on the task list outlined by the National Institute for Automotive Excellence (ASE) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). The competition will include a series of workstations to assess skills in the following areas: feather prime and block, masking and paint code ID, blending and color matching. The competitors will also complete interviews, written estimates and ASE written exams. The overall appearance of the finished products, speed and proper safety practices will be judged.
In the paint preparation segment, Dan Wittek, 3M Automotive Aftermarket technical expert, will oversee students as they mask off an identified repair area on donated vehicles from Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
In the Collision Repair Technology competition, contestants will be asked to perform jobs and skills based on the task list outlined by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). The competition will include a series of workstations to assess skills in the following areas: metal straightening, welding, plastic repair and structural analysis. The overall appearance of the finished product, speed and proper safety practices will be judged. There will also be written tests on estimating, structural analysis and a mock ASE exam. The students will also be interviewed by the judges.
In the plastic repair segment, Algie will manage the students as they repair a plastic fascia, from prepping and sanding the repair area to fixing minor damage and tabs using 3M repair adhesives and cleaning products.
The 3M corporate team will also host a company booth at the SkillsUSA trade show.
The SkillsUSA Championships will be held on Wednesday, June 25 and Thursday, June 26 in H. Roe Bartle Hall and Municipal Auditorium of the Kansas City Convention Center. More than 6,000 career and technical education students – all state contest winners – will compete hands-on in 99 different trade, technical and leadership fields. Winners receive scholarships, tool grants and other prizes for gold, silver and bronze place finishes.