In business for more than 56 years, Brown’s Body Shop in Zanesville, Ohio has 15 employees, including two students who work on a part-time basis. Autobody News spoke to Dusty Brown, the owner of the auto body shop, about the benefits of hiring students to assist with their collision repair work.
Q: When did you first begin hiring students and what prompted your decision?
A: We first hired a student from Mid East Ohio Vocational School in 2007. I wanted to get involved in order to help train young people coming into the field the correct way. In 2010, I hired another student who is now our head painter.
Q: How often do the two students work at Brown’s and what are their primary responsibilities?
A: They work every day after school and all day on days that school is not in session. One student works in our paint department prepping cars, masking parts and doing final clean up before paint. The other student works in our tear down department where he disassembles incoming vehicles. Both are paid positions.
Q: What is the benefit and challenge of hiring students?
A: One major benefit of hiring students is the fact that they have not developed any bad habits. A challenge is that they require a lot of hands-on instruction and supervision.
Q: What is your advice to other body shops considering using students to help out in their facility?
A: I would encourage them to do so. It is hard to find good quality technicians in this field and this is a great way to train them the proper way.
Q: Can you tell us about the recent relocation of your shop and some of the new technologies that you added?
A: My father started the business in 1960 in a shop the size of a two-car garage. I took over the business in 1996 when we built an 8,000-square-foot shop. In September of 2015, we moved into our new 19,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility.
The new shop has two Nova Verta 31 foot heated downdraft with wind system paint booths; four Car-O-Liner frame machines with computerized Car-O-Tronic measuring systems; three phase-resistant welders; and drive-through estimating. It is also a complete Sikkens Autowave water collision repair center.
Dusty Brown, owner of Brown’s Body Shop, can be reached at 740-454-1655.