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I-CAR’s Passion for Providing Hands-on Training Displayed at SEMA

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Nov. 1, 2017—The I-CAR booth at the 2017 SEMA Show has been a popular place this week. Located outdoors, awash in Las Vegas sunshine, the booth has garnered ample foot traffic.

The collision-repair organization’s new, hands-on training displays appear to be a hit at SEMA.

“It has just been non-stop,” said Jason Bartanen, I-CAR’s director of industry technical relations, of the activity at his employer’s booth. “The feedback has been very positive from all the attendees, and all the students coming by.”

The emphasis on hands-on training is part of I-CAR’s mission to get shops qualified to do the repairs they’re tasked with, so that they can do complete, safe and quality work. The demos for repair elements such as riveting directly connect with courses offered by I-CAR.

“What’s great about those courses is we come to their shop,” Bartanen noted. “We use their equipment, and help them set up their equipment—and you get the I-CAR credit on top of it.”

This week, at I-CAR’s booth near the Westgate Hotel, technicians, students, insurers, and equipment reps have gotten tutorials from industry experts, on modern repair staples like MIG brazing, aluminum welding and plastic welding. Bartanen said those repair elements are more relevant than ever; aluminum work is gaining in importance, for example, due to the increasing amount of mixed-material vehicles being rolled out these days.

Bartanen said I-CAR’s initiative to provide hands-on development “is what technicians want. I mean, they work with their hands for a living. They want to get in there, and learn it, touch it, feel it, and you can’t do that in an online class; we do the online theory part of it, and then we go into the shop and do the hands-on, practical part of it.”

Additionally, I-CAR—which will host a presentation by SCRS on Friday at SEMA—has tried to steer attention this week toward its Repairability Technical Support (RTS) website, which offers collision repairers countless tutorials and gateways to industry information.

“We added the word ‘information’ to our vision statement a few years ago,” Bartanen noted, “and now we’re fulfilling that part of the vision by making information more readily available and closing gaps.”

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