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New York Woman Pursues Collision Repair Program, Finds Career

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June 17, 2022—At 24 years old, Emily Burns has found her niche with collision repair. 

According to Rochester First, Burns got a job at a used auto parts store after graduating high school. This ended up inspiring her to enroll in the collision repair program at Eastern Monroe Career Center, Monroe One's Career and Tech Ed center in Fairpoint, New York. 

She signed up for the program during the summer of 2021 and began taking classes the following fall as the first student to pursue platinum certification. This included an additional 61 credits. 

Burns is planning on wrapping cars with Ewing Graphics in Farmington, New York. She is grateful for the program, which helped her explore the areas of collision repair that she enjoyed the most including welding, painting cars, and repairing them. 

Burns said that she felt pressure from society to pursue a four-year degree, but she is incredibly happy with her decision and the relationships that she made along the way. 

“You can always start over,” Burns said in the article. “This place for sure changed my life, in a good way.”

Her instructor Joe Alati said that her platinum certification will help her stand out, which is a great asset to have in the industry because of the opportunities currently available. 

“There are jobs in everything we teach here, from construction to auto tech, to collision repair. Every employer, the phone never stops ringing, they’re always looking for people,” said Alati in the article. “The sky is the limit for people that come into the trades right now, we have collision repair techs making as much as $175,000 a year, here in Rochester.”

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