Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders
Maintaining and gaining industry knowledge are essential to staying ahead of the curve in the automotive and trucking industries. With numerous educational opportunities available, finding the right place to start can be difficult.
Vale Training Solutions, a leading educational institution that began 70 years ago and now a Sedgwick company, provides those in the collision repair industry with an opportunity to excel. Attendees can take advantage of course offerings that cover auto and tractor trailer construction, substrates, nomenclature, collision damage analysis and repair vs. replacement options —taught by instructors who are experts in the industry.
When taking a Vale course, students experience learning in a classroom setting where instructors walk through real-world scenarios. Classroom training develops technical knowledge and enables students to progress through hands-on application in Vale’s shop environment —complete with damaged late-model cars— writing approximately 15 estimates in the process.
To help professionals progress in today’s competitive business environment, Vale Training Solutions has unveiled new courses from which students can obtain the most up-to-date information. Recently, Vale added Introduction to Electric Vehicles, a course that focuses on estimator safety in working with electric vehicles and accuracy in estimating damage.
Vale Training helps those in the industry build background knowledge of the collision repair process, and provides first-hand knowledge of how the industry has adapted with its use of software and techniques such as scanning and blue printing, allowing graduates to grow in their roles. Vale’s services extend to estimate reviewers, offering customized, client-site programs for desk reviewers and they certify paintless dent repair technicians.
Providing Confidence to Newcomers
When entering the industry, it can be difficult to determine the best place to learn the specific elements of collision repair. To help those new to the game, Vale Training Solutions offers a two-week Auto Estimatics course that focuses on the essentials of automotive construction.
The training provides attendees with an understanding of how to write accurate estimates. Mike Brough of Turnpike Motors in Newington, Connecticut, enrolled in the course as a way to advance his skills as an estimator.
“Even though I’d only been in the auto body industry for a few months prior to my training, I was able to pass my licensing exam on the very first try,” Brough says. “The confidence and knowledge you leave with after attending a Vale training course is impressive, to say the least.”
Unveiling Missed Opportunities To Owners
Vale Training Solutions features an extensive list of courses and is continually adding new offerings. One program currently being piloted is ACE - Accuracy Check on Estimates, a one-day shop visit covering the challenges facing shop owners, a review of open or closed estimates and a single course topic delivered on the shop floor. The feedback to date has been very positive and has proven beneficial in terms of driving revenue and building skills.
Along with welcoming those new to the industry, Vale Training Solutions provides education opportunities for seasoned veterans.
After Josh Wilson, manager at Fortune Collision Centre in Lexington, Kentucky, attended an estimating course, he discovered a new way of seeing the estimating process and was eager to report back to the company.
Vale’s class contains writing, reviewing and critiquing estimates repeatedly, which helps prepare estimators to pay attention to items that are commonly overlooked.
Empowering the Rental Industry
With classes that extend beyond the collision repair industry, Vale Training Solutions offers educational courses to those in the rental car and insurance business. Much like for Brough, gaining knowledge in the industry was essential for Edward Misch and Michelle Russell’s team at the ridesharing business at Car2Go, a Daimler company.
Because they didn’t have the ability to visit shops in person, Russell and Misch’s team needed to learn how to write estimates via photos.
“I asked [Russell] to look into a way that we could get everyone on the team to be able to understand damage appraisal and look at pictures,” Misch says. “The industry that we’re in now is really kind of a newer industry, so it was very important for us that we were able to get what we needed.”
Car2Go found Vale Training Solutions, which happened to be located close to the business. Russell says it was essential for the team to be able to train as a group and not miss a significant amount of work in order to do so.
“For the level of experience that our team had, the classroom setting and level of interactivity were very important to us,” Misch says.
During Car2Go’s training, attendees trained over a period of two weeks, with classes split between four days. Prior to the class, around 6-8 hours of pre-work was assigned, Misch says.
“I think it was perfect,” Russell says. “It really covered the scope of materials that we wanted to get, and for us, it was all about cross-training. For what we wanted, it served us well.”
Those seeking to enter the auto collision industry or enhance their estimating skills can find more information on Vale Training programs here. You can also call 800-233-7095 to inquire about Vale’s new programs – ACE and Introduction to Electric Vehicles programs.