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Thursday, 08 September 2011 17:13

Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association Hosts 'Industry Day' of Sessions and Speakers

The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association sponsored a local Industry Day on June 14 with Guest Speakers Chuck Sulkala, Mike Sprinkle with DuPont, along with Tri-State Coatings, Car-O-Liner, 3M, and Software Works Consulting.

The group had a very diverse crowd in attendance. Shop owners shop managers, estimators, production foremen, body techs and a group of future technicians soon to enter the industry attended the event. Shops were represented from East Texas, SW Arkansas, and NW Louisiana. Everyone was welcomed by the Dean of Louisiana Technical College-Shreveport/Bossier campus, Mrs. Angie Rymer. The college was very pleased to help host the event for the collision repair industry. Several departments worked very closely together to make the event a success. The NWLCRA would like to give special thanks again to Mrs. Rymer, Mr. Linser and staff for coordinating the facility site, Mrs. Lorna Drach, Culinary Arts, for allowing her students to prepare and present the lunch and snacks, and Mr. Chris Shepherd, Collision Repair Instructor, for preparing the classrooms and labs for the lectures and hands-on learning.

The event was made possible by the support of some very talented and informative speakers. The day included these four classes being taught in four breakout sessions. This enabled everyone to attend all four classes. A lot of great ideas were shared in each class and the group gave so many thanks go out to each of the instructors.


Danny Wheeler, Software Works Consulting, taught classes about "Computers - Today and Tomorrow?"

Car-O-Liner had four instructors team teach a hands-on lab about "Measuring for Estimating" using the latest technology to diagnose, perform and verify repairs.

3M had two instructors teach two separate classes. "Performance Analysis Tool" was taught in the classroom while "Bumper Repair Process" was hands-on in the lab.

The event's Industry Speaker was Mike Sprinkle, Business Development Manager for DuPont. Mike taught two very informative General Session meetings for all to attend. The morning session was entitled, "Building Customer Pay" and the afternoon session was entitled, "Blueprinting". Both sessions were very interactive as the audience and shops shared successes in their respective markets.

The event's Keynote Speaker was Mr. Chuck Sulkala. Mr. Sulkala is a well-known speaker and activist for the collision repair industry. He has received numerous industry awards, currently serves on numerous boards, and for 40 plus years he has been involved in his family owned collision repair business. He is no stranger to the problems and opportunities facing our industry. Chuck spoke on the direction I-CAR is taking with the introduction of the Professional Development Program. He spoke about how all aspects of our industry saw a need to shape the future training of technicians based on job tasks for that technician and his/her role. The Professional Development Program is a very well thought out progression of training through the I-CAR programs. The role designations and levels of achievement will enable the technicians to reach new status of professionalism and the collision repair shops to reach a recognized status of Gold Class.

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