Students on collision course for jobs

Published 9:29 am Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Collision Repair program is a two year elective course at the School of Technology that teaches students about basic skills needed to work in the automotive field.

First year students learn about basic and advanced panel repair, welding, trim and glass replacement, electrical systems, paint preparation, paint mixing, painting and buffing.

As the year progresses, the first–year students are able to work more in the shop under the guidance of second–year students and the eye of their instructor, Mark McCary.

For the most part, second year students are assigned projects to work on until completed.

Students sand, repair, prepare and paint the cars all by themselves in groups of three or four.

Collision repair accepts cars, trucks, SUVs, vans and trailers from the public. Students can do anything from a simple buffing and wash to complete panel repair and painting of vehicles that need repair.

Students also learn about plastic repair plasma arc cutting, body and frame alignment, and even how to estimate repair costs.

This year, collision repair students restored a 1974 GTO and are currently working on a 1970s Pontiac Trans Am.

They also painted a school bus for the Inside Program, which educates students about the dangers of dropping out of school and encourages them instead to finish high school.

With these projects and many others, these students become highly skilled professionals in the auto body business and will easily find employment upon graduation.

Collision repair is one of a variety of programs students can take advantage of at the Shelby County School of Technology. Students can also concentrate on landscape management, drafting design technology, cisco networking, carpentry, culinary arts and more.

To find out more about the SOT’s programs, visit or call Patti Fant at 682–6650.

Josh Nickles and Andy Gordon are students at the Shelby County School of Technology.