Auto Collision Experience Attracts More Than 400 Students to TCHS Brandywine Campus

Auto Collision Experience was free of charge for auto collision students in the region to learn more about the various career pathways in the industry.

More than 20 automotive collision industry businesses and organizations came together at the Technical College High School (TCHS) Brandywine Campus in late April for the third annual Auto Collision Experience (ACE).

ACE 2017 was free of charge for auto collision students in the region to learn more about the various career pathways in the industry. Students were able to network with employers and participate in demonstrations highlighting some of the latest technology available in the industry. More than 400 students from 15 technical high schools in the region attended the event.

Dave Purdy, Assistant Principal at TCHS Brandywine, has been involved with ACE since it started in 2015.

“One of the goals of ACE is to help expose our students to the wide range of career paths available to them in the auto collision industry,” he said. “We bring industry partners together with students and educators to not only educate, but to also help create a network that all parties involved can benefit from.”

One of the unique features of ACE is that it gives industry partners access to students who have skills that are in high demand. Max Sorensen, Market VP at ABRA Auto Body & Glass and industry partner for ACE, noted that the event provides a unique opportunity for students to see where they fit into an industry that is projected to grow by nine percent over the next seven years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“There is a rich diversity of career paths available in this industry,” said Sorensen. “While the traditional paint and body technician is still very much in need, there are a plethora of opportunities available in marketing, sales, customer service, and management. This event allows students to see the industry as a career and not just a first job.”

Students who attended the event were given the opportunity to interview with industry partners. Students were then evaluated by industry partners using a rubric. Students received their rubrics after the event to better gauge their interviewing skills.

Steven Feldman, auto collision technologies instructor at TCHS Brandywine Campus, said that some students left the event with more than just interview feedback.

“I had at least five students who walked away from ACE with an actual job offer in hand,” he said. “I spent 15 years in the industry, and I can tell you this event does an incredible job in helping not only students but also instructors really network with industry partners.”

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