MSU BILLINGS NEWS—The auto body program at City College at Montana State University Billings partnered with the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program for the second year to help with the donation of a refurbished car to a local family. Micki Morrow and her daughter were presented with the vehicle at the City College Car Show and Collision Repair Exploration Day in April.
The day featured a car show with over fifty cars, food, prizes and vendors. Steve Wodrich, auto body instructor at City College, organized the event to allow the public to view the auto body program and all the opportunities it can bring.
The highlight of the show came when Wodrich’s students unveiled this year’s Recycled Rides project. Recycled Rides is a program developed by the National Auto Body Council as a way to help low-income families get a vehicle when they would otherwise be unable to afford one. This year, State Farm Insurance donated a 2014 Ford Fusion to the cause.
Auto body students disassembled the vehicle, assessed the damage, wrote the estimate using OEM repair procedures, and performed repairs. Diesel program students at City College also worked on the car and replaced an engine cradle and performed an alignment on the vehicle.
Wodrich worked with Love, Inc. of Yellowstone County and the Harvest Church Car Care program to find the recipient of this year’s car. The Fusion was presented to Morrow and her daughter during the awards ceremony at the car show. Morrow had not been able to afford a vehicle for several years and had to depend on friends and family members for rides to work. “This makes me feel free,” Morrow said as she tearfully accepted the keys to her new car and thanked the students that worked on it. “I’ve wanted to put my daughter in soccer and take her to meet my family in Miles City but was never able to do that until now.”
“This is a great project for the students,” Wodrich said. “Not only do they get the experience of working on a newer vehicle, but they also get a chance to see the difference they can make in someone’s life.”
Over $5,000 in parts were donated to the project by Archie Cochrane Ford, Denny Menholt Frontier Chevrolet, American Auto Body, OHS Body Shop, Rick’s Auto Body, AA Truck Collision, Dietz Auto Salvage, Hank’s Body Shop, Intertek Parts, Big Sky Collision Center, the Montana Collision Repair Association, National Coatings and Supplies and Axalta Coating Systems. Hail Team 6 also provided some paintless dent repair.
Wodrich plans on making the car show an annual event and will give away a Recycled Ride at it every year.
For more information about the City College auto body program or Recycled Rides, contact Steve Wodrich at 247-3041 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I took a before and after photo. The kids had fun doing this, and we tried; it is pretty close.
This is the first project the kids worked on. My theory is: “If you can repair a fender, you can repair the entire car!” We talk about the multiple panels the car is made up of, and so to a certain extent, this is true.
I put 4-5 dents, make an artificial rust spot for them to repair, and then they go to work. After the repairs have been made, they prime it, block sand it, prime it again, and then wet sand the fender in preparation for paint. (We also cover dry sanding in preparation for paint.) I know the pictures do not do them justice, but most of the fenders would be right at home on any car driving around town. This is a shortened version of what is covered, but they get all the instruction necessary to actually repair an entire car.
Again, thank you so much for your generous donation. My budget has been cut by $6,000.00 next year, and every year it is a challenge to teach what is needed to go out into the industry, with the necessary skills to be successful. I, and the kids appreciate it very much.”
Auto Collision Repair Instructor
Muskegon Area Career Tech Center – Muskegon, MI
During the 54th Annual National Leadership and Skill Conference (NLSC) in Louisville, Kentucky, CAPA Aftermarket Industry Relations Manager Stacy Bartnik served as a judge for the SkillsUSA Championships plastic repair competition. Bartnik drew on more than 20 years of experience in the collision repair industry, including expertise on fit and finish to evaluate contestants’ performance.
During the SkillsUSA Championships, more than 6,000 career and technical education students –– all state contest winners ––compete in 102 hands-on skill and leadership competitions. Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry.
During the plastics repair competition, contestants illustrate their expertise by completing three different repairs on a bumper facia; tab repair, and two tears using flexible filler and plastic welding. They were then evaluated based on prep of repair area, products used, quality of sanding and featheredge, weld quality, finished repair quality. The contestants had 90 minutes to compete this segment.
As the global leader in aftermarket part certification for more than 30 years, CAPA is dedicated to ensuring that the industry, and consumers, have the means to identify high-quality aftermarket repairs and parts, which includes design, materials, construction and comparability to car company brand parts.
Bartnik commented: “I was thrilled to represent CAPA at the SkillsUSA Championships, drawing upon our dedication to working with the industry, including the skilled workforce represented by SkillsUSA, to ensure high-quality repairs are done using the right part for the job. We are also committed to working with customers, industry experts and internal colleagues to ensure the needs of the industry and consumers are being met. Our partnerships with SkillsUSA and their Annual National Leadership and Skill Conference is just one of the ways we can ensure these needs are being met.”
Gold medal winners for this competition were Caleb Eyler from Warren County Career Center, Warren, PA (High School), and Johnathan Wolfe from Wiregrass Georgia Tech College, Valdosta, GA (College). For more information on the SkillsUSA Championships, please visit https://www.skillsusa.org/.