State Farm has announced that it is teaming with I-CAR and inviting all of its Select Service repairers to participate in I-CAR’s Welding Training & Certification program throughout 2014. State Farm states that this initiative supports its commitment to a "remarkable customer experience" through training that will enable its repairers to perform proper welds that yield quality repairs.
The program offers Select Service businesses the opportunity to register for welding training directly through a provided link on their websites, at newly reduced price levels.
“We believe welding proficiency benefits State Farm policyholders by providing quality repairs to policyholder vehicles," said Russ Hoffbauer, P&C claims director from State Farm. "While participating in the I-CAR Welding Certification is not mandatory for Select Service repairers, we anticipate that repairers will be eager to take advantage of this unique opportunity.”
Repairers who participate in I-CAR’s Welding Training & Certification program will benefit from an assessment of shop infrastructure and equipment that includes coaching and troubleshooting. Once a shop passes the assessment, each student in class will receive personal instruction, have the ability to practice on the equipment that they use in-shop every day, then apply their skills and demonstrate through a certification test that they have a confirmed level of welding skills.
“I commend State Farm for working with I-CAR to develop this initiative that supports the industry’s need to better prepare repairers for the welding required today and in the future,” said I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne. “I-CAR is committed to training more of the industry on this critical skill and providing increasingly accessible and affordable welding training. The increased level of industry welding training encouraged by State Farm’s initiative was a major catalyst behind the industry-wide reduced welding course pricing that I-CAR is announcing today.”
I-CAR’s vision is that “every” person in the collision repair industry has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform a complete, safe and quality repair, and to that end I-CAR announced welding program changes, including a new pricing structure that will encourage training participation by every technician who welds. The more technicians a shop has participate in a class, the greater the savings for the business. Key program changes include:
• Simplified registration and scheduling process
• A separate per-event fee for a standardized pre-event shop welding capability and readiness assessment • Lower per-student pricing
• Rebranding from qualification to certification
• Full certification required every five years due to rapidly changing technologies
I-CAR currently offers three Welding Training & Certification courses: Aluminum GMA (MIG) Welding, Steel GMA (MIG) Welding and Steel Sectioning. These courses, which are designed specifically for the type of advanced and technically challenging welding the collision repair industry performs, have been developed in partnership with the collision repair industry and numerous professional welding experts.