Van Alstyne stated, “Today, as the major provider of welding training to the collision repair industry, I-CAR estimates that at least two-thirds of technicians who weld lack formal welding training.” He continued, “I-CAR has beefed up its welding programs and significantly reduced pricing to encourage repairers to more broadly invest in the training that makes perhaps the biggest difference in complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer. To effectively navigate the vehicle technology tsunami our industry is facing, repairers today need technicians that are trained and certified with up-to-date welding skills in order to perform the complex structural repairs that are now required.”
Major insurers, such as State Farm, and OEMs, including GM, have already committed to partnering with I-CAR in 2014, encouraging or requiring their networks to participate in I-CAR’s Welding Training & Certification.
Van Alstyne also provided an update on the Repairability Technical Support initiative. He shared details on the launch of the dedicated “technical knowledge” website, upcoming plans and key milestones that have been achieved. This initiative launched in 2013 and is designed to provide technical repair knowledge, address gaps in repair procedures and enhance industry technical communication with OEMs.
“I-CAR thanks the industry for its support in 2013. Through your commitment, I-CAR is well positioned to deliver on its vision in 2014 and beyond,” explained Van Alstyne.
Key 2013 accomplishments that Van Alstyne shared were the milestone $200,000 donation to the Collision Repair Education Foundation on behalf of the industry, no price increases for the third consecutive year, the introduction of Gold Class™ program enhancements, a $2.6 million investment in a new learning content management system (LCMS), the expansion of network partner programs and new Professional Development Program™ training.
Van Alstyne further renewed I-CAR’s commitment to hold all pricing flat again in 2014, except the Welding reductions mentioned. He also announced that an estimated $165,000 donation will be made by I-CAR to the Collision Repair Education Foundation in 2014, representing $1 for every class the industry took with I-CAR in 2013.