A Lancaster, NY, man is giving back to a program that he said helped him succeed.
Frank Todaro, owner of Collision Masters, recently donated a piece of equipment to the students in the auto body repair program at Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Wallace D. Ormsby Educational Center in East Aurora, NY.
“I attended the Erie 1-BOCES Harkness Career and Technical Center,” Todaro said. “The education I received there definitely helped me in my career and made me a strong believer in the need for vocational schools in our community.”
Todaro said he started talking to Rick Drewery, the auto body instructor at Ormsby, about a year ago. The two started talking about new technology in the industry, and Todaro ultimately offered to donate a frame machine he had in storage to the school. Todaro said he no longer needed the equipment, as he recently upgraded to a machine that could work with newer models of cars.
“I said, ‘We’re not going to sell it; we’re going to give it back to someone that can use it,’” Todaro said.
Drewery said he was stunned by the donation.
“I was speechless. I really didn’t know what to expect, and for somebody to do something like that means so much,” he said.
The frame machine being donated is a Car-O-Liner product, acknowledged within the collision repair industry as a premier manufacturer. It was transported from Collision Masters to The Ormsby Educational Center by No Limit Towing, located in Lancaster.
The donation has been well received by both the students and Drewery, who said a piece of equipment like this will not only allow the students to have more hands-on experiences, but also save the program thousands of dollars.
“Using this equipment, it’s going to allow us to make the process of making repairs a lot simpler. And (the students) can actually learn, so when they go in the shop, they actually know how to use that machine,” Drewery said.
In addition to getting first-hand experience inside the classroom, his students also have a chance to spend a month interning at local body shops. From there, they will go on to their capstone project, during which they will work in the auto field for three weeks as part of a paid internship.