Encouraging the youth towards careers in trade is one of the objectives of Techsploration in motion as a platform of youth empowerment. As the collision repair industry struggles with a skilled labour shortage, the CSN Network is always seeking new ways to attract talent to the industry and our shops. Sparking interest in young people is the start of regenerating the talent pool for the collision industry. Therefore, we partnered with the Techsploration team to produce a hands-on career day revealing the opportunities available at a CSN collision facility.
On November 1, 2023, a group of young women attending grade 10 at Bernie Custis Secondary School went on an educational excursion to CSN East Mountain, Hamilton, ON. Upon their arrival, the young ladies were welcomed by the CSN team, after which they got to experience the exciting activities laid out for them. From a history session on the collision repair industry to safety first instructions and then a CSN East Mountain shop tour, the young ladies had a full day of learning and hands-on experience.
At the Techsploration in Motion event, the students explored key auto body roles – Body technician, Refinish Technician, Detail Technician, Management, and Repair Planner/Estimator.
With the Refinish Technician, the students were introduced to the paint booth and mixing room, where they watched a demonstration of painting, mixing, and polishing, all done with attention to detail. The students observed disassembled vehicles with the body technician and went through a repair process with the technician. They also observed dent repair on hood panels and discussed the importance of Advance Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). Moving on, the students learnt about the claims process/life cycle from start to finish, with a particular focus on customer service – an area of pride for the CSN network. Finally, the students got a live session on writing estimates and telling the repair story, illustrating the relationship between damage to a vehicle and the estimate and repair plan.
In an industry such as collision repair, the value of first-hand experience, especially when engaging with young talent, cannot be emphasized enough. Sharing career growth stories from those who have been in the industry is of equal importance. Combined, they provided inestimable value to the students.
Following this career day, the students will have the opportunity to discuss their learnings. This will allow them to share their findings and get more clarification about roles in the industry. Techsplorer will host an in-person event to finalize this career series on November 30.
CSN partners Akzo Nobel, 3M and Color Compass sponsored the event, providing swag bags, promo items and PPE.