Chief Automotive Technologies

Chief supports next-generation collision repair techs through SkillsUSA sponsorship

Chief Automotive Technologies will sponsor the Collision Repair Technology (CRT) Championship at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference this summer. It will be the 28th consecutive year Chief has sponsored the competition, which brings state-winning students together to demonstrate their metal straightening, welding, plastic repair and structural analysis abilities. The SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference will be held June 23-27 in Kansas City, Mo., and will feature competitions in more than 90 disciplines.

“Chief has sponsored SkillsUSA since 1986, so we have had many opportunities to see competitors go on to lead successful careers in the collision repair industry,” says Richard Perry, global repair product manager for Chief parent company Vehicle Service Group (VSG). “We are proud to lead the way in supporting the next generation of collision repair technicians and ensuring that they are properly trained.”

At the CRT competition, Chief will supply most of the structural repair equipment the students will use. The setup will include a Chief frame rack and measuring system, as well as damage simulators. Chief personnel also helped develop the written structural repair test that is administered to each competitor.

CRT committee volunteers who will help set up the testing area, oversee the competition and answer questions include committee leader and independent Chief University instructor Ken Soupene; Perry; Mike Croker of Chief distributor Automotive Technology, Inc.; Tom Beachem and John Ressler of Nationwide Insurance; Marty Hettle, retired; and Bob Keith of CARSTAR.

During the competition, students will work against the clock and each other to analyze and repair a sample vehicle. Judging will be based on the overall appearance of the finished product, safety practices employed, speed, written exams and an interview.

The winning CRT student will receive free registration for a future Chief University class and all participants will be given a Chief-branded flashlight. Chief University classes are held at training centers across the United States and Canada. They combine classroom training with hands-on demonstrations and are approved for I-CAR credit hours through the I-CAR Industry Training Alliance program.

More than 15,000 students, teachers and business partners are expected to participate in this year’s SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Championship competitions will be held June 25-26 in the H. Roe Bartle Hall and Municipal Auditorium at the Kansas City Convention Center.

For more information about SkillsUSA, visit To learn more about Chief’s full line of collision repair equipment, contact your local Chief distributor, visit or call (800) 445-9262. Chief is active on Twitter,, Facebook, and Vimeo,