At a Glance
Made possible by a partnership of 20 local and national companies and organizations and Technical College High School Brandywine Campus, the Auto Collision Experience Spotlight is designed to inform attendees of the rewarding and challenging career opportunities in the auto collision industry.
The Auto Collision Experience (ACE) Spotlight is a major community event that was designed to showcase the extensive career opportunities in the Auto Collision industry for students (7th grade and up), parents, school counselors, alumni, local adult workers, and local veterans. A partnership of 20 local and national companies and organizations and the school designed and implemented the event, which was held at the Brandywine Campus of Technical College High School (TCHS). Business partners provided funding for the event. The school provided use of the Brandywine Project Center and adjoining program areas as the location, the entire school for tours, and personnel as needed.
To publicize the Auto Collision Experience Spotlight, event organizers utilized a variety of marketing tools including bulk mailers, emails, visits and emails to school counselors, press releases, announcements on the PACTA organizational website, and announcements at conferences and meetings.
At the event, participating companies and associations set up information booths and displays to provide career information such as detailed career ladders, advice for career success, potential salary ranges, and educational requirements. The sponsors also provided product demonstrations, equipment displays and demonstrations, simulations, and featured cars. The companies and associations that were represented included: Nationwide and GEICO Insurance, Hertz and Enterprise Car Rental, PPG Industries, 3M Corporation, I-Car, Dent Wizard, RW Mallon Auto Paint & Equipment, Kayfield Automotive Paint, Kent Automotive, Four Sons Glass, 3D Auto Body & Collision Centers, Car-O-Liner, CCC1 Information Services Inc., Keenan Auto Body, Pro Spot, Moppert Brothers, Garmat, and C.R.E.F.
The school provided tours and on-site admissions processing and counseling. Various break-out sessions, guest speakers, parent sessions, and student sessions also were conducted. A local company, RW Mallon Auto Paint and Equipment, provided funding for lunch for all visitors and participants. Students from the TCHS Culinary program prepared lunch.
Those involved with the event report that the events highlight was the Recycled Rides presentation. This event, which presented two cars to local families in need, was the culmination of a joint initiative of the two Technical College High School campuses. Through the help of the Occupational Advisory Committee (OAC) and business sponsors, TCHS Brandywines Auto Collision instructor Mark Serfass attended the GEICO car auction and selected two vehicles for repair by both the Brandywine and Pennocks Bridge Auto Collision programs. Geico then donated both vehicles to the Recycle Rides program. TCHS students started the repair work and then local repair centers completed the jobs. Students from both campuses followed the cars to the centers and were provided a supervised work experience in a modern repair environment.
Origin / Implementation
This event arose out of a concern among the National Collision Repair Educational Foundation, The National Auto Body Council, OAC members, major local and national companies and school officials that the public did not understand rewarding career opportunities within the auto collision industry. To address this need, they decided to sponsor the Auto Collision Experience Spotlight as a community event and a means to promote the viable career opportunities that exist and correct some misperceptions about the auto collision industry. They hoped to publicize the fact that collision repair careers extend to manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, insurance, testing laboratories and numerous agencies and associations.
The 2015 Auto Collision Experience Spotlight event with its scope of industry participation and sponsorship, comprehensive advertising and public relations, financial contributions and charitable connections was the first event of its kind to be held in Chester County.
Results / Impact
TCHS administrators and the Auto Collision instructor report that as a result of the collaborative effort to organize the event, a career ladder has been created representing every facet of the auto collision industry. Each of the participating vendors and sponsors created specific career ladders for the event, for future recruitment and for public display.
The development and strengthening of industry connections and partnerships is another key outcome of the event, as is the positive public relations it generates for TCHS, students and the industry sponsors.
Technical College High School Brandywine Campus
Seth Schram, Principal
Mark Serfass, Auto Collision Instructor