Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
It’s the beginning of a new school year, and that means that class is in session. For technical schools like Lincoln Tech, this goes beyond getting students back into a classroom.
It’s about setting students up to succeed in a career, which the school approaches in a multitude of ways.
Founded in 1946 in Newark, New Jersey, the school came into existence through the motivation of helping World War II veterans find jobs. Initially, this focused on the automotive and diesel industries.
Today, Lincoln Tech offers areas of study that include transportation, automotive, collision, heavy equipment repair, skilled trades such as welding and electrical and even cosmetology and medical-oriented fields of study.
Lincoln Tech has a network that allows them to support their students. This includes establishing partnerships with trusted industry brands. Chad Nyce, Lincoln Tech’s chief innovation officer, explains how this is applicable to the school’s collision repair and refinishing programming.
“Students want to know that, when they're coming to Lincoln Tech, they're gonna be using some of the best tools and equipment and products that are on the market,” Nyce says. “That really does make a difference. We believe that they're literally the best in their industry, so, having these relationships and being associated with these premium brands is helpful.”
The partnerships help Lincoln Tech to keep things consistent across all of the campuses that have collision repair programs, which includes six of its 22 campuses across the country.
These locations include: East Windsor, Connecticut; Grand Prairie, Texas; Indianapolis; Melrose Park, Illinois; Nashville, Tennessee; and Denver.
“Whether you're a student who attends our East Windsor campus in collision, or whether you're a student who attends our Grand Prairie campus, what you experience over the program and the products you use … are virtually identical,” Nyce explains. “It’s very similar to how a franchise model would work.”
Discover New Perspectives
Global Finishing Solutions, a manufacturer that provides paint booths and finishing environments for multiple industries, is in one such partnership that brings the brand’s products to some of Lincoln Tech’s campuses.
This includes two side downdraft paint booths and a paint mix room that were recently installed at Lincoln Tech’s Denver location, and GFS products that will soon be installed at the Lincoln Tech Nashville campus.
Lance Watkins, senior territory manager at Global Finishing Solutions, sees this collaboration as mutually beneficial.
“The ultimate goal is that we want to gather feedback from the Lincoln Tech students about the performance and the usability of our equipment,” Watkins says. “Having never before used automotive painting equipment or anything like that, students will bring a fresh perspective and give us some ideas.”
GFS will also train Lincoln Tech instructors on its REVO Accelerated Curing Systems at all six of the campuses that offer collision repair programs.
“By them teaching these kids already how to use accelerated curing, and what the benefit of that is, I think that’s a huge kudos to Lincoln Tech for making that investment.” Watkins says.
Overall, Watkins is confident that working with Lincoln Tech to bring GFS products to students will have a positive impact.
“It’s important to us because all of these students that will be going through the Lincoln Tech program are not only getting trained properly, which is the most important thing,” Watkins says. “But they are also getting to use GFS equipment, [which] is also very important.”
Fill a Critical Need
AkzoNobel is another example of a Lincoln Tech partner as the school’s exclusive source for paints and refinish coatings.
This partnership will apply to all six of the Lincoln Tech locations that offer collision repair programming. It’s a partnership that came naturally as Rich DeCamp, district sales manager at AkzoNobel, explains.
“We were already servicing two locations for a number of years and had a strong relationship with them, as well as a track record of support,” DeCamp says.
In addition to products, AkzoNobel will also provide Lincoln Tech with technical training that complements the collision program and the AkzoNobel Acoat Selected e-learning training academy, which is a suite of online learning classes.
“We have a history of providing more than just a can of paint,” DeCamp says. “Providing hands-on training as well as educational services is what we specialize in, and that’s a good fit for what Lincoln Tech is trying to do.”
The reach that Lincoln Tech has in regards to training future technicians is a motivating factor for AkzoNobel, as it not only utilizes the brand but also supports the industry overall.
“We’re looking to support the industry as much as we can, especially at a critical time with the technician shortage, and ultimately create more interest in the industry and the critical roles the trades play in our workforce.” DeCamp says.
Global Finishing Solutions and AkzoNobel will also provide product support to Lincoln Tech’s Kindig Academy, which is a six-week fabrication and finishing course held at Lincoln Tech’s Denver campus. Both brands have a partnership history with Dave Kindig of Kindig It Design.
GFS is providing an Excel Workstation at Kindig Academy that acts as a safe and controlled environment for sanding, priming and some painting.
AkzoNobel has worked with Kindig on the Modern Classikk paint line. This line is derived from the Sikkens refinish brand from AkzoNobel, which will be used at Kindig Academy.
Understand the Impact
Global Finishing Solutions and AkzoNobel are not the only partnership pursuits of Lincoln Tech, but they are two examples that show the impact of teaming up.
Peter Tahinos, senior vice president of marketing at Lincoln Tech, points out that bringing successful brands into the educational sphere allows for realistic experiences to occur.
“We try to create a real world environment in our schools so that students are using the same equipment that they'll use in the field once they graduate,” Tahinos says. “Whether it's paint or tools or whatever it might be, we're always trying to create that environment that mimics the real world that they're going to face once they get out of school.”
Another hope for promoting these hands-on product and project experiences for students is that Lincoln Tech can effectively set up its student body for a lasting career. This is especially crucial these days, considering the on-going labor shortage in the industry.
“When students come to us and are interested in any of our programs, we really take a lot of time to help them understand what the jobs in these different industries look like. The last thing we want to do is have a student come, and we train them for a year, and then they get out into the job and they're like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is not anything like I thought it was going to be,’” Chad Nyce says. “We really do spend a lot of time making sure that our students understand the job prospects that are out there for them and the different types of places they could work.”