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Thursday, 30 June 2016 21:05

2016 Putnam Collision Advisory and Appreciation BBQ

2016 Putnam Collision Advisory and Appreciation BBQ

Distinguished guests and faculty members pose with a group of students from the Collision and Auto Shop during an unveiling of an old police and fire box during the Putnam Collision Advisory and Appreciation BBQ. The box will be on display at the Police Academy. (Frederick Gore Photo)

SPRINGFIELD — More than 200 visitors filled the parking lot of the Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy as part of the annual Putnam Collision Advisory and Appreciation BBQ on June 16.

Visitors from the auto body and collision industry took advantage of the informal style dinner to meet with students and staff. According to John Kennedy, department head at the school, the picnic-style dinner is a chance for the students to network with local auto body and collision businesses.

"This (school) has become a resource center for many businesses." Kennedy said.

Kennedy said the students have a virtual reality computer program that, coupled with a special pair of goggles, enables the students to "paint" cars without touching a real vehicle. The school has state-of-the-art equipment for the students to learn on, and that's a huge benefit to employers looking for qualified personnel, he said.

The appreciation BBQ is a joint effort of multiple resources and was designed to bring an awareness of the talented students enrolled in the school program, which presently has an estimated 60-40 ratio between male and female enrolled in the auto program, Kennedy said. The auto collision program presently has a 90 to 95 percent placement rate.

We would like to thank The Republican for reprint permission.

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