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Lincoln Educational Services Corporation, marking 75 years in 2021 as a national leader in specialized technical training, announced it will be launching the Kindig Academy at its Denver, Colo., campus in early 2022. Lincoln Tech has entered into a collaboration with Dave Kindig, owner of Kindig-It Design and star of MotorTrend TV’s “Bitchin’ Rides”, to offer advanced instruction in this highly specialized field.
Kindig offers start-to-finish builds for custom vehicles – known as RestoMods – that are unlike anything on the road today. With an extensive waitlist, his services are in high demand. At the same time, the need for skilled, qualified professionals throughout the industry has never been greater. The Kindig Academy at Lincoln Tech will help students take their skills to the next level in the custom vehicle design and fabrication industry.
“Earning a Kindig Academy certification is a unique credential for a custom vehicle designer and fabricator,” said Chad Nyce, executive vice president and chief innovation officer for Lincoln Tech’s . “And it will be available exclusively at Lincoln Tech.”
Kindig founded and operates Kindig-It Design, the nation’s premier custom vehicle fabrication company. Since 1999, Kindig-It Design has been the leading name in creating one-of-a-kind custom rides. In 2014 he helped launch “Bitchin’ Rides” on MotorTrend TV, a series that is still going strong in its eighth season. The show spotlights the one-of-a-kind rides Kindig and his team produce and is seen in more than 169 nations worldwide.
Thousands of shops across the country offer custom design and fabrication services, and Kindig sets a high industry standard. He attributes much of the demand to the unparalleled performance machines his team turns out, while also noting how challenging it has become to attract and retain talent with the skills needed to excel in this highly specialized field.
“We’re really excited about this partnership and about combining our name with Lincoln Tech,” said Kindig. “We’re very thankful for this opportunity to partner with an educational institute that’s known for delivering quality training. The Kindig Academy and its Advanced Skills program will be great for both organizations, and most importantly for the technicians we train.”
The seven-week program will provide students with 240 instructional hours covering 14 topics such as specialty welding; custom fabrication; part design; custom painting; custom exhaust fabrication; custom electrical system design; custom powertrain programming; mechanical assembly; and more. Students entering the program will be expected to possess foundational skills in most areas and will be asked to demonstrate those skills as part of the application process. Entering the program with a basic knowledge of the fundamentals allows instructors to deliver training in the highly advanced skills needed to produce high-end custom vehicles.
Lincoln Tech will transform an area of its Denver campus, which offers Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology training, into the new Kindig Academy with its own entrance, showroom and merchandise shop. Nyce says a substantial investment has been made to make the Kindig Academy at Lincoln Tech a landmark training center for an exciting career field.
With class sizes expected to include no more than 12 students at a time, applicants will apply into a competitive admissions process. Prior experience will be a prerequisite, and candidates will be asked to detail why they want to advance in the custom vehicle fabrication industry.
“This is an incredible opportunity for all sides,” said Nyce. “We’re looking forward to launching the academy, and we’re grateful to have been chosen by Kindig-It Design to host the program at Lincoln Tech.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the collision repair and refinishing industry to projected to fill more than 130,000 openings by 2028. Lincoln Tech’s Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology program, in tandem with industry leaders like Dave Kindig, will help employers nationwide maintain skilled, competitive workforces.