Friday, 14 December 2012 22:30

Education and Industry Partner to Bring Top Training to Arizona

East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) in Mesa, AZ, has partnered with Leading Edge Auto Refinishes and Kachina Automotive Equipment to establish one of the premiere educational programs and training centers for Collision Repair Technology in the United States. New training begins in January.

EVIT is Arizona’s first Joint Technological Education District and was formed in 1991.  Recently recognized as an A+ School in Arizona, it serves adult and high school students in over 40 occupational specific programs.

This private/public enterprise partnership fulfills the mission for EVIT’s CEO & Superintendent Dr. Sally Downey.

“We must bring industry to the table if we are going to provide the finest training in the world and to accomplish that goal we needed to partner with two of Arizona’s most influential market leaders,” said Dr. Downey. “Leading Edge and Kachina Automotive are recognized as innovative market leaders and industry visionaries in Arizona. When I asked them to outline their vision of what they believed our program could become I was taken back at the depth, the vision and their comprehensive strategy of implementation that greatly exceeded EVIT’s short and long term vision for our collision program.”

It has long been a dream of John Rang, managing partner of both Leading Edge Auto and Kachina Automotive Equipment, to provide state-of-the-art training for the collision industry in Arizona.

“When Dr. Downey approached us we quickly realized that we shared a similar vision for industry training in Arizona. We lacked a brick and mortar facility and EVIT lacked the knowledge and industry connections to bring EVIT’s dream to reality. Dr. Downey describes our relationship as a ‘public/private enterprise partnership.’ I would describe it as a win-win opportunity for students and our collision industry partners. Our relationship with EVIT is beyond anything I could have imagined,” said Rang. “Dr. Downey has big ideas and by collaborating we are going to have a significant impact on students and industry. This is going to be a unique collision program.”

On Nov. 7, 2012, Dr. Downey was proud to present Rang and Leading Edge the prestigious Sam and Olga Bender Award for Business, one of EVIT’s highest honors. The award is given to a business partner who makes the greatest contribution of time, energy, and commitment to the school. Rang’s efforts were acknowledged just as the Collision Repair facility was in the final stages of completion. The renovated facilities will begin hosting manufacturer’s training programs in January, 2013 beginning with Chief Automotive “Design Based Repairs and Advanced Frame Analysis” training classes.

EVIT has served high school students in collision repair classes for more than 20 years. However, the new facilities and programming expands that vision by offering students secondary education and advanced training for professional technicians currently working in the industry.

“It’s essential that we keep technicians current with the technology and repair techniques in our industry, so we leveraged our local and national industry relationships. To say they stepped-up would be a gross understatement,” says Rang.  “I-CAR embraced the opportunity immediately along with several nationally recognized manufacturers who are offering industry training at EVIT during 2013. The 18,000 square foot facility, with new state-of-the-art equipment, and factory supported training, offers the perfect environment to address one of the greatest weaknesses of our industry, a severe lack of qualified technicians.”

“We have great expectations for our new collision program. As a current member of the national ‘Automotive Youth Educational Systems’ (AYES) executive board, I am convinced that the opportunities for EVIT in our collision programs are unlimited,” said Dr. Downey.

Leading Edge Auto Refinishes is a single-line BASF ColorSource™ distributor. Kachina Automotive Equipment, founded in 1978, supplies collision shop repair equipment and training to the collision industry.

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