Chief Automotive Technologies announced that for the 29th consecutive year, it will sponsor the Collision Repair Technology (CRT) Championship at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The CRT Championship is one of 100 competitions held in a variety of trade, technical and leadership disciplines at the conference, which takes place June 22-26 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.
“SkillsUSA brings thousands of high school and college students from across the country together to demonstrate their knowledge and learn from each other,” says Richard Perry, OEM and strategic account sales manager for Chief. “Many of these students will begin their careers in our industry over the next few years, so it is important that we provide them with the best possible resources during their training.”
Chief will supply an impulse-E/VHT frame rack, LaserLock Live Mapping system and damage simulators for the CRT competition. A collision-damaged vehicle will be loaded on the frame rack, and contestants will use the equipment to demonstrate their damage analysis skills. The competition will also include segments dedicated to metal straightening, welding and plastic repair. The students will be judged on the overall appearance of the finished repair, speed of work and adherence to safety practices.
Chief representatives are part of the CRT committee, which helped develop the written estimating and structural analysis tests that will be administered to contestants. The volunteer committee also sets up the testing area, oversees the competition and helps answer student questions. It includes Perry; Chief University instructor Ken Soupene; Mike Croker of Chief distributor Automotive Technology, Inc.; Tom Beachem and John Ressler of Nationwide Insurance; Marty Hettle, retired; Bob Keith of CARSTAR; and others from the collision repair industry.
The CRT Championship’s winning college and high school students each will receive a free registration for any upcoming Chief University course of their choice. Chief University courses combine classroom training with hands-on demonstrations at training centers across the U.S. Most are approved for I-CAR credit hours through the I-CAR Industry Training Alliance program. Chief training has been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) for compliance with the Continuing Automotive Service Education (CASE) Standards.
The CRT Championship will be contested over two days, June 24-25. The SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference includes a career fair, educational seminars and an awards ceremony in addition to the student competitions. For more information, visit www.skillsusa.org.