Enterprise Holdings has launched the Automotive Collision Engineering Pilot Program, powered by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation and Ranken Technical College.
Designed to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill essential roles within the collision repair industry, and enhance retention and advancement among collision repair technicians, the program is piloting at four schools across the country — Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, College of Lake County in Grayslake, Ill., Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Calif., and Texas State Technical College in Waco.
This program has been developed to address a paradigm shift in the transportation industry as it faces a major technician shortage. With nearly 80,000 new collision technicians needed between 2020 and 2024, according to the TechForce Foundation, demand is significantly outpacing a steadily declining supply of postsecondary collision technician entrants. Meanwhile, today’s rapid pace of vehicle innovation and connectivity is adding demands on technicians to have expertise in not only car repair, but also technology and engineering.
“Collision repairers are facing unprecedented challenges in growing their workforce to sustain their businesses. Meanwhile, the opportunity for future technicians to build successful, well-paying careers in this industry is enormous,” Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), said in a statement. “Collision engineering is an exciting, viable and rewarding career. By increasing awareness of these opportunities and training students to become meaningful entrants to the industry, the Automotive Collision Engineering Program is helping fill both the worker shortage and skills gap that exist. This program represents a strategic and collaborative response from an industry with a great deal to offer new members of the workforce, and a critical investment in the future of automotive repair.”
The program follows Ranken Technical College’s apprenticeship model, which prepares students for success by treating them as professionals from day one. Designed with auto collision industry needs in mind, the program encourages schools and industry to work together to facilitate lifelong learning for the future leaders of the collision industry.