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How Collision Repair Apprenticeships are Helping the Skilled Labor Shortage

Apprenticeships are a great way to attract new or young people to the industry, as it’s traditionally challenging to capture the interest of those who have never been around it before. As cars have changed so much over the last 20 years, from size and style to technological advances, it’s crucial that the industry changes its approach to employee acquisition as well. With a skilled labor shortage affecting the collision repair industry, apprenticeships are an incredibly appealing incentive to the younger generation. They’re a way to learn valuable skills and enter the industry without the full commitment of a trade school.

How Accudraft is Helping Boost Apprenticeship Programs

Many multiple shop operations (MSOs) are investing in training and apprenticeship programs to teach newcomers from the ground up. It offers a ton of hands-on learning, plus the opportunity to learn directly from how the shop operates, eliminating the learning curve process of a new hire. And while it’s not guaranteed, many of those that complete an apprenticeship start full-time at the MSO they’re working for.

Take Caliber Collision for example. Their Changing Lanes apprenticeship is a no-cost, 15-week Career Skills Program (CSP) specifically geared towards helping military personnel transition to civilian life. It’s a 90% hands-on training experience with job placements at one of their 1,700+ locations across the United States. In order for Caliber Collision to implement this program without disrupting their day-to-day operations, they needed additional paint booths. That’s where Accudraft came in.

Skills USA Promotes Workforce Development Amongst the Skilled Labor Shortage

Skills USA is America’s premier skilled trades showcase and one of the largest hands-on workforce development events in the world. While this event is geared towards those who already have a foot in the industry, from highly skilled painters to technical education students, it’s an excellent way to grow a career within collision repair. With more than 6,000 state champions, Skills USA will have 115 leadership competitions, with the winner moving forward to a world championship.

Our very own Jeremy Winters, Content Creator at Accudraft and 20+ years as a Painter, is extremely excited to return to Skills USA as a second-time judge. In 2023, he helped judge the basecoat application and clearcoat application for students. It was the first year that all the winners were women! This is an incredible opportunity for Jeremy to help teach the next generation of painters.

Looking to Grow Your MSO?

If your MSO is looking to grow and develop its own apprenticeship program, reach out to Accudraft. From simple economy booths to large high-production models, we’ve got you covered. To get started, explore our finishing systems online and then give us a call.