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FenderBender attended the hands-on course that was made possible with a plastic welder donated by Latuff Brothers Auto Body.

Feb. 6, 2018—On Tuesday morning, Greg Borst of Polyvance went to the Newgate School in Minneapolis, Minn., to teach an introductory course on nitrogen welding.

During the class, students learned to:

  • Identify different plastic types
  • Explain the basic nitrogen welding process
  • Properly operate the plastic welder
  • Weld a tear on the edge of the bumper
  • Repair a torn slot tab
  • Repair a torn flange
  • Repair a torn flexible hinge tab
  • Repair a thermoset Polyurethane (PUR) bumper

The hands-on course was made possible with a plastic welder that was donated to the school from Latuff Brothers Auto Body in St. Paul, Minn.

The Newgate School is a tuition-free vocational school that offers both an auto body and an auto mechanics training program. In order to generate revenue, the school accepts donated vehicles that are then fixed up by the students and auctioned off.

The program typically lasts 18 months, but the students stay until the instructors feel that they are ready. Newgate works closely with local body shops in the area, like the MSO Heppner’s Auto Body, and makes sure that each of its students find employment before being sent out into the real world.

One of the students, Arnulfo Delcompare, is starting his career on Wednesday with Latuff Brothers Auto Body. Delcompare stayed on an extra day specifically to get the plastic welding training. Before being hired on full-time, Delcompare completed a job shadow program at Latuff Brothers where he was paired up with three technicians and worked under a journeyman technician.

Ron Severson, retired director of Newgate School, says the program aims to encourage self-sustaining practices among students instead of criticism. For example, instructors say, “You’re having problems but the reason I want to talk to you is because you can do better than that.”

“This is pretty simple but in the work world it’s a bit more common to confront,” Severson says.

Check out some videos FenderBender posted from the event on Facebook:

 

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