In 2014, repairing a crashed car takes an understanding of chemistry and metallurgy, and the smarts to recognize that every make and model is different.
"It's no longer Jimbo and Billy Bob's bait shop and collision repair," said Paul Gage. "A technician today is an engineer. They're engineering a car to respond correctly to collision energy."
Gage, an industry veteran, is leading a new associate degree program in advanced collision repair at Fayetteville Technical Community College. The curriculum was drafted by Gage and others in the industry to qualify graduates to work on vehicles in an era of rapid and dramatic changes in vehicle design and repair.
The collision industry faces a critical shortage, with too few qualified graduates filling jobs left open by an aging technician population, according to the nonprofit Collision Repair Education Foundation.
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