PPG kicks off Partners in Education program

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PPG Automotive Refinish has launched a new program intended to create a partnership with the top postsecondary technical schools and colleges across North America — the PPG Partners in Education Program. The program is a collaborative initiative between PPG and technical schools to develop skilled entry-level technicians for employment at PPG customers.

“The PPG Partners in Education program offers our auto body repair students a tremendous opportunity,” says Jim Johnson, department chairman of the NDSCS Auto Body Repair and Refinishing Technology Program. “By becoming PPG-certified, our students gain a real competitive edge in the marketplace after graduation. In addition, our instructors benefit from the program, as they are kept up-to-date on the latest technology and industry information. We’re very pleased to be part of this program.”

The North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, N.D., has met the requirements to join the program. One of the oldest public junior colleges in the United States, its auto body refinish program was established in 1933. The school offers an extensive auto body curriculum, including instruction in every aspect of auto body repair from frame, body and structural repair to estimating and job costing, and even restoration.

“Given the significant shortage of technicians in the industry, PPG, in conjunction with pilot schools, has developed this program to expand the pool of qualified candidates,” says Bill Troyer, training manager for PPG Automotive Refinish, based in Strongsville, Ohio. “Our focus is on working closely with select schools to increase the level of student skills, ensure instructors are knowledgeable in the latest technologies and processes, and enable our customers to locate the highest-quality entry-level technicians.”

Prospective schools must meet PPG’s criteria to participate in the program. The requirements range from curriculum and equipment to instructor credentials and federal, state and local health and safety practices, as well as compliance regarding licenses, permits, environmental regulations and more.

An additional benefit of the program is an online careers database for graduates of the program to help them find employment. Students who pass the testing process may post their resumes on PPG’s Partners in Education Careers website. Prospective employers will be able to review the candidates based on the students’ regional work preferences, as well as education and other credentials.

“Given the initial success we are seeing with our student certification initiative, we are confident that the program will grow to become a major factor in helping overcome the talent shortage our collision repair customers have been facing,” Troyer says.

For more information on the program, contact the PPG Training Department at 440-572-2800. For more information on the NDSCS Auto body Repair and Refinishing program, go to www.ndscs.nodak.edu.