SkillsUSA Conference Shines Spotlight on Next Generation of Collision Repairers - BodyShop Business

SkillsUSA Conference Shines Spotlight on Next Generation of Collision Repairers

Ever been to an NBA game and witnessed the “pump up the volume”
madness that ensues just prior to introducing the home team? Well, the
thousands of students, parents and teachers who participated in the
SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City last
week essentially equaled that during the opening ceremony of the United
States’ largest competition and trade show for young people interested
in pursuing careers in skilled trades.

Imagine thousands of teenagers screaming and whirling glow sticks in
the air to the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” And
imagine that enthusiam put toward a career in the culinary arts,
construction, hairstyling, automotive service or collision repair.
Gives you hope for the future, doesn’t it?

The opening ceremony (featuring keynote speaker Mike Holmes of the
popular HGTV show, “Holmes on Homes”) was just the tip of the iceberg
in an entire week that featured a career fair, TECHSPO (the nation’s
largest trade show in trade and industrial education), SkillsUSA
University educational sessions, and competitive events where students
vied for medals in a variety of skilled trades. Also at stake were
trips for the highest scoring students to the 2011 WorldSkills
Competition Oct. 5-8 in London, England.

State Farm has been one of SkillsUSA’s top sponsors for the past 20 years. Robert Medved, senior claims instructor of Corporate Learning and Development for State Farm, said there’s many reasons why the insurance company has been so heavily involved for so long.  

"We have a vested interest in helping skilled trade students achieve the highest level of technical training available to them. Multiple skilled trades support our core business of auto and homeowners insurance," said Medved. "By helping provide highly qualified technicians to the companies responsible for repairing our customers’ cars and homes after a loss, we can expect quality repair outcomes.

"Although we’re extremely proud of our monetary contributions, we’re equally as proud of the many State Farm employees that help set up, judge and work the competitions at both the state and national levels. However, our involvement is not enough. It’s crucial for the collision repair community to become more deeply involved in the lives of its future workforce. SkillsUSA students not only excel in their technical skills, but in employability skills as well. I’ll quote one person I talked to this year who said, ‘The worst student here is better than my best person at home.’ That about says it all, doesn’t it?"


2010 SkillsUSA Conference By the Numbers

No. of competitors: 5,600
No. of trade, technical and leadership fields: 96
No. of attendees: 15,000
No. of SkillsUSA members (including alumni): 313,180


Student competitors in Collision Repair Technology go through a series
of workstations to assess skills in metalwork, welding, plastic repair
and structural analysis and are judged by the overall appearance of the
finished product, speed and property safety practices. Also, there are
written tests on estimating and structural analysis as well as an ASE
exam. The students also go through mock job interviews to better
prepare for the hiring process. Medalists included:

Collision Repair Technology

Gold

Chance Brickner
High School     
Sentinel Career Center
Tiffin, Ohio

Silver

Jose Cornejo
High School     
Alvin High School
Alvin, Texas

Bronze

Nicholas Jeronymo
High School
Greater New Bedford RVTHS
New Bedford, Mass.

Gold

Kevin Massey
College/Postsecondary
Morgan Community College
Fort Morgan, Colo.

Silver

Marcus Malnar
College/Postsecondary
Washtenaw Community College
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Bronze

Lars E Jenson
College/Postsecondary
Utah Valley University
Orem, Utah

Student competitors in Automotive Refinishing Technology go through a
series of workstations designed to assess skills in surface
preparation, spray gun operation, paint mixing, matching and applying,
solving paint application problem, determining finish defects, causes
and cures, and utilizing safety precautions. Competitors also complete
interviews, written estimates and ASE written exams. Medalists included:

Automotive Refinishing Technology

Gold

Wyatt Knick
High School     
Upper Valley JVS
Piqua, OH

Silver

Nate Wagner
High School
Harkness Center-Erie 1 BOCES
Cheektowaga, New York

Bronze

Justin Furman
High School
Tuscola Tech Center
Caro, Mich.

Gold

Robert Feldkamp
College/Postsecondary
Washtenaw Community College
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Silver

Jason C Nielson
College/Postsecondary
Utah Valley University
Orem, Utah

Bronze

David Albers
College/Postsecondary
Wichita Area Technical College
Wichita, Kansas


More information: 

SkillsUSA

Top Scoring SkillsUSA Females Score WIN Scholarships to NACE

SkillsUSA Student Travels to Calgary, Canada to Compete in International Car Painting Competition

ASE/AYES/SkillsUSA Announce Testing Partnership

front row l to r: medalists nate wagner (silver), wyatt knick (gold), justin furman (bronze) and technical committee member bill grady. back row l to r: jason c. nielson (silver), robert feldkamp (gold) and david albers (bronze).


Front row L to R: Technical Committee member Dennis Barrett, medalists Jose Cornejo (silver), Chance Brickner (gold), Nicholas Jeronymo (bronze) and Technical Committee member Darrell Andrews. Back row L to R: Marcus Malnar (silver), Kevin Massey (gold) and Lars E. Larson (bronze).  

You May Also Like

Body Bangin’ Southeast Collision Conference: Create a Bulletproof Repair Plan with Danny & Kyle

Live from the Southeast Collision Conference, Micki Woods interviews Kyle Motzkus and Danny Gredinberg on building a repair plan supported by facts.

Micki Woods, master marketer for collision repair shops and owner of Micki Woods Marketing, is kicking off a series of daily podcasts from the Carolinas Collision Association's 2024 Southeast Collision Conference. This series is sponsored by Lombard Equipment, which offers a premier line of automotive collision repair equipment for all your OEM certification needs.

Body Bangin’ Southeast Collision Conference: To Calibrate or Not to Calibrate with Greg Peeters

Live from the Southeast Collision Conference, Micki Woods interviews Greg Peeters of Car ADAS on what it takes to do an accurate calibration.

Body Bangin’ Southeast Collision Conference: Building Value in Your Business with Matt DiFrancesco

Live from the Southeast Collision Conference, Micki Woods interviews Matt DiFrancesco on how to make your business as valuable as possible.

Body Bangin’ Southeast Collision Conference: Future-proof Your Shop with Mike Anderson

Live from the Southeast Collision Conference, Micki Woods interviews Mike Anderson on finding the formula for future success.

Body Bangin’: Taking the Gloves Off with Clay Hoberecht

Micki Woods interviews Best Body Shop Owner and Vehicle Care RockStar Clay Hoberecht on how he stands out in a crowded industry.

Other Posts
Body Bangin’: Are You Ready for the Southeast Collision Conference?

Micki Woods interviews Jordan Hendler and Josh Kent about the upcoming Southeast Collision Conference May 16-18, 2024 in Greensboro, N.C.

Body Bangin’: Hidden Gems to Grow Your Business with Rick Selover

Micki Woods interviews collision consultant Rick Selover on things you can do to immediately impact your person, body and business.

Body Bangin’: NORTHEAST Show Highlights with Ken Miller

Micki Woods interviews AASP/NJ President Ken Miller on highlights from the NORTHEAST Show.

Body Bangin’: Overcoming Common Shop Challenges with Kyle Motzkus

Micki Woods interviews Kyle Motzkus of Hunter Auto Body on common challenges collision shops face.