The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) recognized hard-working, up-and-coming members of the new generation of collision repairers by presenting its Young Technicians of the Year Awards on March 18 during the NORTHEAST 2023 Automotive Services Show.
For the third consecutive year, AASP/NJ utilized a $5,000 grant from Utica National Group Foundation, with the assistance of World Insurance Associates, to supply two technicians — Billy Horan (DJ’s Restoration, Ewing) and Herbert “Pepper” Riveros (Woodbridge Auto Body, Rahway) — with $2,500 each in tools and equipment to help them build their careers in collision repair.
“This has been our third year of presenting this award, and it’s getting more difficult to choose recipients as we go along as we had a tremendous number of applicants,” said Joe Amato, Sr., affiliate board member of the AASP/NJ and principal of World Insurance.
Applicants are reviewed anonymously by an AASP/NJ committee as a way to prevent bias and make the process as fair as possible.
Riveros was noted as an “ideal candidate” by his Woodbridge Auto Body team. New to the United States, he has been growing steadily at the shop, having received three raises in just one-and-a-half years of being employed. He does assembly, disassembly, wet sanding and polishing, as well as metal straightening and non-structural parts replacement. Riveros expressed how he was thankful to God and felt very blessed and happy to be a Young Technician of the Year award recipient.
At DJ’s Restoration, Horan is known to do “just about everything in the shop. He is always the first one there and the last to lock up. He is always looking to learn and help out, not just in collision repair but with writing estimates and working in the office.” Horan was also noted for his computer savvy and ability with his “superior” scanning and calibration knowledge. Horan is grateful to AASP/NJ and to his boss for the opportunity and the tools he received through the award.
“I do a majority of the office work and whatever my boss can’t get to,” said Horan. “I am like a Swiss Army knife; I can do a little of everything.”
The up-and-coming collision repair pro literally fell into the profession by accident. He first came upon the shop as a customer and became an employee soon after learning the shop was shorthanded, which had delayed his own vehicle’s repair. Now, he has a career path he’s certain to follow as he hopes to be running the shop one day.
AASP/NJ is already hard at work on NORTHEAST 2024 scheduled for March 15-17, 2024. Visit aaspnjnortheast.com for details as they become available.
For more information on AASP/NJ, visit aaspnj.org.