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Monday, 02 July 2007 15:12

Nominations requested by Mentors At Work for 2007 Mentor of the Year Award

    Mentors at Work is once again initiating its annual quest for the best of the best occupational mentors in the country and is seeking nominations from the collision repair industry for consideration for the “Mentor Of The Year” award. This “Mentor Of The Year” award will be presented to the journeyman technician, currently working in a shop, who has shown exceptional skill and prowess in teaching and training new technician talent for his or her employer.
    The award will be presented at this year’s NACE during the Collision Industry Night of Achievement in Las Vegas. Nomination forms may be requested from Mentors At Work either by entering the following link into your web browser, www.mentorsatwork.com/newsletters/Nomination_Form.doc, or by calling (888) 225-6968 or emailing info@mentorsatwork.com. Nominations are due by September 7.
    “Journeymen techs who mentor new hires in shops across this country will play an increasingly crucial role in developing the workforce of tomorrow for shops that empower them to do so,” said Mark Claypool, President and CEO of Mentors at Work.
    “This dedication and the above and beyond the normal call of duty efforts deserve everyone’s appreciation. Technicians who effectively mentor others will have a direct, positive impact on our industry’s long-term ability to fix cars right and in a timely manner,” added Claypool. “By presenting this Mentor Of The Year Award, we are able to recognize those who are currently mentoring others and encourage shop owners and managers to consider building effective mentoring/apprenticeship systems within their own shops. This, in turn, will help our industry meet its long-term skilled labor needs. We simply have no other choice then to address this challenge head on.”
    According to Claypool, some of the topics the judges will be addressing when reviewing nominations for Mentor Of The Year include: What makes the nominee stand out as a trainer compared to other talented techs in the shop? What do apprentices who have been working with the nominee say about them? What communications skills and teaching skills does the nominee use to train others? What has the nominee done to teach new hires about the world of work beyond just the technical skills?
    “Contenders for the Mentor of the Year award must have demonstrated the ability to motivate others to learn, people who take every opportunity to help others learn, people who work in a way that makes others want to emulate them, and provide positive reinforcement when it is earned and constructive criticism when necessary,” added Claypool. “There are some fine techs in this industry who simply aren’t equipped to teach others. It takes a special set of talents, beyond skill and speed, to be a mentor. We, as an industry, must pay homage to these special people within our shops.”
    The 2004 Mentor of the Year was J.C. Baccus, a 25-year veteran technician with Caliber Collision Centers in California. In 2005, the Mentor of the Year was Ron Ratzlaff, a journeyman tech with 36 years of experience who is employed by 911 Collision Centers in Tucson, Arizona. The 2006 Mentor of the Year was Doug Kollasch, also from 911 Collision Centers, who had spent the past 32 years working in the collision repair field.
    Claypool, considered by many to be one of the nation’s leading experts on occupational mentoring and apprenticeships, is the founder of Mentors At Work. Claypool serves as SkillsUSA’s Team-USA Leader for the World Skills Competition, the next of which will be held in Japan in November of this year. He is the former Executive Director of the National Auto Body Council (NABC), the I-CAR Education Foundation and was National Director of Development for SkillsUSA/VICA.
    Mentors At Work was founded in 2001 to help the automotive industry be successful in building successful apprenticeship and occupational mentoring programs. Mentors at Work’s partners with the California Autobody Association to provide apprenticeship systems in California and its clients include True2Form, CARSTAR, 911 Collision Centers, many other independents and several clients outside of the automotive industry. Business partners include Sherwin-Williams and the DuPont Performance Alliance. Mentors At Work is headquartered just outside Chicago.
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