AkzoNobel’s New Training Program Paves the Way for Future Technicians
AkzoNobel, a worldwide leader in automotive paint and refinish, is further increasing its commitment to the automotive industry by partnering with technical colleges across the country. The new Technical College Support Program will bolster the automotive paint centers of tomorrow while enabling the technicians of today to hone their skills in a variety of courses to prepare and strengthen the next generation of collision repair technicians.
With over 275 million vehicles on the road today and 1 billion more expected to be produced worldwide over the next 15 years, AkzoNobel is committed to helping stem the technician shortage by offering the resources and education too often lacking in the automotive industry today. The new training program is meant to enable schools to empower students by developing and deepening paint-related skills and will help maximize quality, productivity and overall shop profitability.
The training programs will utilize industry benchmarks and standards to anticipate future needs of the collision repair industry. The programs balance hands-on activities with classroom theories to provide best-in-class instruction.
In addition to supporting the collision repair industry through proactive recruitment, participating in trade shows and extensive training sessions, the college support program is critically important to sustaining a viable collision repair community. AkzoNobel also partners with I-CAR through its Sustainability Program, helping further the education of technicians committed to the trade.
Tony Mahon, Regional Business Services Manager for AkzoNobel, sums it up well:
“We help customers understand what is important to the new generation coming in. We give the user the tools and the mindset to hire smart and hire right. What we devote to programs— whether creating personal development programs to monitor progress or helping with pay plans, for instance—we try to figure out what it will take to attract the best and brightest. We work closely with our customers on that.”
Mahon says AkzoNobel is also committed to the full-circle approach of future technicians—from hiring at the beginning of their careers, training throughout and long-term incentives to keep retention high in the automotive collision repair world.
AkzoNobel offers an ever-widening suite of training opportunities to keep up with the technological tide sweeping the automotive industry, including (but not limited to):
Preparing for a process-centered environment
Principles of continuous improvement
Optimizing repair planning
Standardization and visual management
Color evaluation and selection, including the AkzoNobel digital color process
Paint system and equipment selection
Paint mixing and application techniques
Surface cleaning and preparation process
Health and safety review
The Technical College Support Program provides schools with an impressive array of products to meet a variety of training goals. Schools can choose from AkzoNobel’s vehicle refinish paint lines: Sikkens (Autobase Plus Solventborne, Autowave Waterborne); Lesonal (Basecoat SB Solventborne, Basecoat WB Waterborne); Wanda (Wandabase HS Solventborne, Wanda Waterbase Waterborne); Sikkens Autocoat BT (LV650—fleet and commercial) and U-TECH (U-BASE—fleet urethane system).
The program includes the necessary mixing equipment and products, including the impressive Automatchic color spectrophotometer.