This is the second class to graduate from the intensive five-month course at Mike's Auto Body's training facility in Antioch, CA.
With three generations of body technicians spanning a century in the collision repair industry, the Algood family is all-in when it comes to fixing cars. Lupe Algood, 40, has been a body technician at Mike's Auto Body for the past five years and is also an instructor for the company's in-house training program that kicked off in 2016 and is already considered a success.
In addition, Lupe's two sons, Ronnie and Lorenzo, are now entering the collision repair industry and onboard with Mike's Auto Body. Ronnie recently graduated from the company's training program and Lorenzo is currently enrolled.
Lupe Algood is a proud father, a passionate teacher and a highly-skilled metal technician who still repairs vehicles when he isn't teaching or mentoring the collision professionals of the future.
How did he become an instructor for Mike's Auto Body? "I was working at the corporate Concord location for Mike's and I began working with a few trainees there," Lupe said. "Dave Wedding and Dane Dearlove approached me and asked me if I was interested in being an instructor for the company's training program and I said yes. I was already an I-CAR instructor and I enjoy teaching, so it was an easy decision."
Lupe's father is a retired body technician and hopefully soon, Lupe, Jr., age 16, might be entering the industry as well. "I tell young people that if they learn their skills and are dedicated to this craft, they can have long, lucrative careers in collision repair. There is a huge demand for technicians right now, so get your training and the jobs will be there."
Lupe's son Ronnie is one of the program's first graduates and is delighted to be working in the collision repair industry as a fledgling metal technician for Mike's Auto Body. "It is a great opportunity for me and it's an awesome time to be in this industry," Ronnie said. "My goal is to become a journeyman within 18 months or so. I know I can do it, because I have a lot of support here at Mike's Auto Body and they want me to succeed."
In order to complete this comprehensive training program, students receive classroom instruction along with performing hands-on repairs of metal, plastic, panel removal and vehicle construction on salvaged vehicles at the company's ADAC facility in Antioch, CA. Students are trained in vehicle disassembly, panel repair, plastic welding, frame and instructional analysis and welded panel removal. In addition, upon graduation, the students will have already achieved I-CAR Training Pro Level 1 and will be fully Car-O-Liner certified.
David Wedding, a business development manager at Mike's Auto Body, who oversees the training program and teaches classes as well, is happy to announce that the first program's graduates are working at Mike's Auto Body's various locations under the tutelage of mentors that have been carefully selected.
"We can already see that this program is going to benefit the company in many ways, and Ronnie Algood is a good example of that," Wedding said. "He is currently working at our Richmond location and getting better by learning new skills and working with several of our more veteran technicians. Now, Lupe's other son Lorenzo is in our training program and [is] doing well."
Currently, the second training class, including Lorenzo Algood, is progressing well and those students will be graduating early next year with the third class entering in the spring of 2017.
If you know someone or have a member of your family that might be interested in pursuing a career in collision repair either as a tech or an estimator for Mike's Auto Body, contact the Program at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information about the training program and an online application is available here.