Collision repair programs focus on attention to detail and the importance of a quality repair. With the guidance of Okanagan College's Red Seal certified instructors, students gain practical experience with the latest equipment and increase confidence with an industry work placement included in the entry level training program.
Q: Walk us through your average day during the foundation program's industry work placement.
A: During the work placement I was often assigned to “R&I vehicles” which stands for “Remove and Install”. For these vehicles, I had to take off components as outlined on the estimate. Most days, I worked on bumper covers, door handles, mirrors, headlights and was able to complete two dent repairs through all body work stages. I helped a journeyperson reskin a door and quarter panel on a mustang. Some of the tools I used were dual action sanders, blocks, spitznagel dent remover and many other tools.
'Actually being able to learn hands-on skills builds important muscle memory which only gets better and better with practice.'
Q: What is your favourite part of your job?
A: Seeing the finished product after all the work is done. Every time I look at a vehicle I’ve painted, it makes me happy seeing the stunning paint job.
'The training at OC goes above and beyond, teaching modern techniques on state-of-the-arts tools and equipment.'
Q: What is something you learned in the Collision Repair program that has helped you in your career today?
A: I would say, working with metal. In the entry-level training program, I learned different ways that metal moves and how to shape it correctly. There is a lot to consider with making a repair on metal (cutting applications, welding techniques, distribution of heat, etc.). I have learned that most shops expect you to know how to do metal working as it’s a large portion of the business.
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Hear from Auto Body Technician, Cassidy McEown!
Cassidy McEown from HISTORY’s Rust Valley Restorers, spoke about her collision repair training experience at Okanagan College and her apprenticeship journey. Cassidy talks about how she started in the trade, her experience working in the industry from a female perspective and her future career plans.
ITA Apprenticeship Advisor, Julie Sawatsky, also shares some insight into apprenticeships in B.C. and her journey as a Red Seal Carpenter.
Check out how virtual paint simulation helps Collision Repair and Refinishing Prep Foundation students develop their skills before entering the spray booth.
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