I-CAR opens new early career technician program

June 13, 2024
The I-CAR Academy offers programs for both new technicians and experienced shop owners.

The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) announced the launch of I-CAR Academy, an educational program designed to provide entry-level collision repair curriculum for career and technical schools, as well as collision repair centers. 

According to I-CAR, the I-CAR Academy is the first industry-neutral early career program that's designed specifically for attracting and retaining future technicians. The program will replace the previous education edition curriculum (PDP-EE) and provide new technicians a launching pad for future I-CAR ProLevel curriculum, Platinum Technician certification, and OEM and supplier-certified programs. It also includes additional training and best practices for shops, owners, and experienced technicians.

"For over 45 years, I-CAR has been collaborating with the automotive collision repair industry to set the training standard, provide education programming that meets modern accepted standards, and credential technicians and shops who commit to staying current as technology and repair methods evolve," said I-CAR CEO and President John Van Alstyne. "I-CAR Academy is the next evolution in our service to the industry -- it is clear that we must adopt a cutting-edge standard curriculum that appeals to, and engages, new technicians because, whether they start in a school or a shop, we need them to be properly prepared to succeed on day one and stay in our industry for a career."

The program will equip students with the fundamentals of collision repair, including safety and tool skills, and foundational knowledge for other entry-level roles such as estimator, repair planner, or refinish technician. There are currently five learning areas available: Collision Repair Fundamentals, Disassembly and Reassembly, Plastic Repair, Aluminum and Steel Small Dent Removal, and Preparation for Refinishing. Later this year, the program will add Spanish language and extended courses as well.

"I-CAR Academy is a game-changer for the automotive collision repair industry and the second tangible achievement of our Talent Programming initiative, following the launch of last year's Collision Careers talent attraction platform," said Dara Goroff, I-CAR Vice President of Planning and Industry Talent Programming. "By offering the industry both attraction and entry-level relevant training programs, we are partnering with schools and repair centers to increase the number of new technicians and better prepare them for the exciting real world of collision repair."

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