Monday, 09 May 2011 16:34

Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association Hosts Local SkillsUSA Winners, Hertz

The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association held their monthly meeting in the Collision Repair Classroom at Louisiana Technical College in Shreveport, LA on May 3. The meeting was brought to order by President Chris Fielder by reading the anti-trust statement, which is required to begin every NWLCRA meeting. Also hosting the meeting was Secretary-Treasurer Bill Burnside.

The group discussed the recent SkillsUSA Competition and asked for all the local winners that were attending the meeting to stand, introduce themselves and tell a little about themselves. Joshua Taylor is a Senior at Northwood High School and is a Collision Repair student of Caddo Career & Technology Center. Joshua took First Place in the Collision Repair Technology category. He is currently working at Shouse Collision Repair & Frame Center. Jerry Shouse, owner of Shouse Collision Repair & Frame Center, said Joshua is currently working with estimating. Joshua Taylor is going to compete at the National Skills competition.

Hunter Lyman is a Senior at Captain Shreve High School, and is a Collision Repair student of Caddo Career & Technology Center. Hunter took First Place in the Auto Refinish Technology category. He has been working with Red River Chevrolet while at school and has been offered a full-time permanent position with Red River Chevrolet.

 

Next, was Ryan Hickman, a Senior at Airline High School and a student of Bossier Parish Technical School. Ryan took Third Place in the Collision Repair Technology category. He is currently working at Bellevue Paint & Body in Haughton, LA.

Lastly was Marquette Tolbert, a Senior at Woodlawn High School and a student at Caddo Career & Technology Center. Marquette took Second Place in the Collision Repair Technology category. He has been working at Moffitt Mazda Porsche Audi Volkswagen Body Shop. He is going to be attending Louisiana College, with future plans to also attend Louisiana Tech University.

George Jackson, Instructor for the Collision Repair Program at Caddo Career & Technology Center, and Mark Monroe, Instructor for the Collision Repair Program at Bossier Parish Technical School were also at the meeting. Jackson praised the efforts of all the students that participated in this statewide competition. He said the students used their Spring Break to prepare for the Skills Competition. He also stated that the students are now preparing for Nationals. He made a request to any Collision Center for help with any type--training, painting, etc.--that would be helpful to a student preparing for the Nationals, to contact him to arrange times. If anyone wants to donate funds, this also would be greatly appreciated and welcomed.

Bill Burnside, Secretary-Treasurer for the NWLCRA, stated that the NWLCRA historically has donated funds for the First Place winners that go to Nationals. A motion was made and seconded to pay $100.00 for each First Place winners in each category of the competition. Congratulations to Joshua Taylor, First Place winner in the Collision Repair Technology category, and Hunter Lyman, First Place winner in the Auto Refinish Technology category.

Many of the NWLCRA members that also helped by judging this event were present at this month's meeting, and were recognized for their continued service to the Collision Repair Industry. If anyone would like to offer help to the students headed to Nationals, e-mail Bill Burnside at cssi4@hotmail.com.

Bill went on to discuss an Industry Day meeting that will be held on June 14, 2011. This Industry Day will center around speakers including Chuck Sulkala, a widely recognized speaker and spokesperson for the Collision Repair Industry, and Mike Sprinkle, Texas Business Development Manager for DuPont. There will be four sessions for the NWLCRA sponsored event. Each session will have four classes that will cover Computers, Measuring for Estimating, Parts and Allied Product Tracking. Daniel Wheeler of Software Works Consulting will discuss the computer changes that are going to occur in the next 12 months. Measuring for Estimating will be discussed by Marvin Garcia of Car-O-Liner. 3M will discuss their upcoming parts program concerning the repair/replace considerations, and managing Allied materials cost. Dupont will have a special class in the morning on Building Customer Pay and an afternoon class on Blueprinting.

The Industry Day is going to be limited to the first 100 people that sign up for the seminars in order to keep class sizes small and interactive. The NWLCRA will also be partnering with the National Auto Body Council (NABC) during the Industry Day in order to collect cell phones for the Cell Phones for Soldiers Program. The NWLCRA will have a drop-off area for the phones during the Industry Day and will also be handing out materials to attendees about having a drop-off location at their own businesses. The program collects used cell phones and turns them into cash, which is used to buy calling cards for soldiers to call home with.

Bill also discussed the current legislature that's meeting in Louisiana and the issues before them. Some of the Bills are 338 and 583. Bill 338 is to prohibit the use of handheld cellular devices while driving. Bill 583 is to prohibit the use of after-market high intensity lights.

Bill also talked about a website, degweb.org. This website is a Database Enhancement Gateway, developed to help improve the quality and accuracy of collision repair estimates, through proactive feedback from the collision repair industry and other "end users" to the Information Providers (IPs) that supply the supply databases for the various estimating products.

This month's guest speakers were Stephanie deCalongne and Caroline Haraguchi from Hertz Local Edition. They were invited to speak to us by Don Brown of Precision Autobody. Stephanie began by discussing the well-known car rental company and how they have changed over the years. One of the changes has been how they have branches that focus on the Collision Industry. She said that there location, 2119 Airline Drive, Bossier City, LA works with the local Collision Industry to provide vehicle rentals for the owners of the vehicles being repaired. They have been working closely like this with the Collision Repair Industry since 2003. Before this, Hertz made a well-known name by offering vehicle rentals at Airports. What makes the Local Edition different than renting at the Airport means a lower rental charge because they don't have to charge the Airport Use Tax as required when renting from the Airport. The average savings is around 10% on normal charges. She stated that they are able to offer a large variety of vehicles because they are able to share fleets with all locations of Hertz.

They are able to truck vehicles all over the region to meet the needs of heir customers. Caroline added that they are the first company to offer a lower age to rent a vehicle; they are able to rent to people 20 years old. They are able to rent one way, with unlimited mileage, no hidden fees, and direct billing. They can offer a collision repair facility a direct billing for cases such as a redo. In most cases, they are able to offer direct billing to the insurance company, if you provide them with a claim number. Deposits can be waived in some instances for certain insurance companies. Their deposit, when one is required for direct billing, is only $50.00. State Farm Insurance and Progressive Insurance companies allow Hertz to rent to 20 year olds, and for 18 year olds to drive the rental. Stephanie closed the meeting by passing out flyers that allows you to use your NWLCRA member to get a discount when using Hertz. This will give you a 20% off weekly/weekday rates, weekend rates starting at $21.49/day, free pickup and return service, and age 20+ renting. Visit their Hertz location and mention you are a member of the Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association, and provide your CDP number to receive your member discount.

Visit www.nwlcra.org for more information.

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