The company, which operates three collision centers in Northeast Ohio, is investing in the future of auto body professionals by providing an intensive apprenticeship program.
D&S recruits apprentices from Auburn Career Center, where students who have enthusiasm for the field and recommendations from their professors are introduced to the program and encouraged to participate. With the skills and techniques learned at Auburn, apprentices are well-equipped to learn everything from tear down, body work, and framework to refinishing, final reassembly, and front office estimating.
Since its inception, six local auto body technician students have entered the program. Nearly every apprentice has gone on to work at D&S, with only one student taking a job at another local shop.
Two recent graduates from the program, Nick Holberg and Noah Mair, have joined the growing list of graduates hired by D&S. The two expanded their skill set put into place by Auburn Career Center and gained real world experience in a professional shop setting.
“It’s not easy, but the hard work pays off, and you learn more here than you would anywhere else,” said Holberg and Mair. Out of everything the program taught them, the young men claim to have enjoyed refinishing the most.
“Teaching kids today what it really takes and giving them an opportunity to work is what makes us unique," said CJ Paterniti, vice president of D&S. "If a person comes right out of tech school, a shop is going to likely put them in the wash bay. If we can give them at least a taste of the entire shop, why not give them a buffet and it’s all you can eat? If you really like paint and refinishing, then you can spend time there. I really want the kids to get the feel for the entire platter, but if they find something that they have a strong suit for, they can become massively involved in it and get a head start.”
For more information, visit www.dsautomotive.com.