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Hoffman Estates, Illinois -- January 6, 2014 -- State Farm is teaming with I-CAR and exclusively inviting all of its Select Service repairers to participate in I-CAR’s Welding Training & Certification program throughout 2014. 

The program offers Select Service businesses the opportunity to easily register for welding training directly through a provided link on their websites, at newly reduced price levels. 
“We believe welding proficiency benefits State Farm policyholders by providing quality repairs to policyholder vehicles,” says Russ Hoffbauer, P&C Claims Director from State Farm, “While participating in the I-CAR Welding Certification is not mandatory for Select Service repairers, we anticipate that repairers will be eager to take advantage of this unique opportunity.”
Repairers who participate in I-CAR’s Welding Training & Certification program will receive an assessment of shop infrastructure and equipment that includes coaching and trouble-shooting, ensuring readiness for a successful training event. Once a shop passes the assessment, each student in class will receive personal instruction, have the ability to practice on the equipment that they use in-shop every day, then apply their skills and demonstrate through a certification test that they have a confirmed level of welding skills.
“I commend State Farm for working with I-CAR to develop this initiative that supports the industry’s need to better prepare repairers for the welding required today and in the future,” says I-CAR CEO & President, John Van Alstyne. “I-CAR is committed to training more of the industry on this critical skill and providing increasingly accessible and affordable welding training. The increased level of industry welding training encouraged by State Farm’s initiative was a major catalyst behind the industry-wide reduced welding course pricing that I-CAR is announcing.”
I-CAR’s vision is that every person in the collision repair industry has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform a complete, safe and quality repair.
I-CAR currently offers three Welding Training & Certification courses: Aluminum GMA (MIG) Welding, Steel GMA (MIG) Welding and Steel Sectioning. These industry-recognized welding courses, which are designed specifically for the type of advanced and technically challenging welding the collision repair industry performs, have been developed in partnership with the collision repair industry and numerous professional welding experts.
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Leesburg, Virgina -- January 02, 2014 -- The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) is seeking individuals who demonstrate a desire to excel in the field of collision repair for its 2014 scholarship program. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2014.  

WIN offers scholarships that will provide tuition assistance as well as educational opportunities and enrichment events to qualified applicants. The program for 2014 includes:
The College Student Tuition and Conference Scholarship Awards are presented to students enrolled in a post-secondary collision repair technology program. Scholarship recipients will receive a $1,000 scholarship to continue their post-secondary education in collision repair, a one-year WIN Membership, plus registration fee and travel expenses to attend the 2014 Educational Conference. 
The High School Tuition Scholarship Awards are presented to students enrolled in a secondary collision repair technology program who plan to continue their studies at a technical school or college. Each scholarship winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship to continue their post secondary education in collision repair and a one-year WIN membership. 
In addition, scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to be mentored by a 2014 recipient of the Most Influential Women award, being presented at the 2014 WIN Educational Conference May 5 to 7, 2014 in San Diego, Calif.  
The deadline for applications is January 15, 2014. For scholarship requirement details and submission instructions, please click here
To learn more about WIN programs or for information on becoming a member or sponsor of WIN, please visit
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Hoffman Estates, Illinois -- December 16, 2013 -- Enrollment is now open for the latest in I-CAR’s new vehicle technology training series, Vehicle Technology and Trends 2014 (NEW14). This highly anticipated course utilizes HD-quality videos and activities designed to enhance learning, bringing the excitement of the auto shows to the classroom and offering students a preview of the latest trends expected to impact the collision repair industry.

During the course, students will learn about the upcoming vehicles and technology trends that will impact repair processes, including structural design innovations, system changes and new materials and electronics throughout new and redesigned vehicles. 
The 3-credit hour Vehicle Technology and Trends 2014 class meets training requirements for all Professional Development Program (PDP) roles for the Gold Class Professionals and Platinum Individual and Professional Development Program (PDP) programs. 
Registration and more information on Vehicle Technology and Trends 2014 is now available on the I-CAR website at
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Hoffman Estates, Illinois -- December 9, 2013 -- I-CAR has announced a $2.6 million partnership with IBM Kenexa to design a new content management system(CMS) that will streamline and improve the development, delivery and quality of collision repair training across the United States.

I-CAR launched its new training system on Dec. 9, with the debut of its all-new Introduction to Carbon Fiber Online course. An additional 40 courses, spanning all I-CAR training delivery methods, will follow shortly on Dec. 16. All future courses will be developed and delivered in this training system, and the entire I-CAR curriculum of over 100 courses will be updated and enhanced by the end of 2015.

To express the significance of this investment, consider a comparison: LCMS is to I-CAR what CAD (computer-aided design systems) has been to the automotive industry. This new training system simplifies management of curriculum content and will significantly reduce the time needed to develop or update courses, allowing I-CAR to bring more relevant training to the industry at a much faster rate. Benefits will be evident across all I-CAR delivery platforms, improving not only the learning experience for students, but also improving the delivery tools available for instructors nationwide.

Bringing new and updated courses to the industry more quickly is only a fragment of the improvements the industry will experience. I-CAR will enhance all of its delivery platforms; self-study online, instructor-led classroom, instructor led virtual training, as well as the in-shop welding training series will merge with the ability to:

• Improve student learning comprehension and retention

• Enhance the quality of class content with HD-quality videos and improved interactivity

• Offer modern educational features such as more intuitive online navigation

• Provide an online reference library that will make class materials readily available to students 24/7, replacing the need to rely on and store CD-ROMs as reference material. The reference library also includes automatic, real-time course updates through personalized myI-CAR training accounts, so once the class is taken, the student will always have access to the most recently updated material for reference.

The undertaking of this new training system has been over two years in the making, and is in response to changing needs within the industry.

“Vehicle manufacturers continue to launch a growing number of new models and technologies and I-CAR is keeping pace to support the evolving training needs of the industry,” says John Van Alstyne, I-CAR CEO & president. “Over the coming three-years, we expect to see over 200 new or re-engineered vehicles launched in the U.S.. That’s a lot of change for the industry to absorb. By enhancing our training development and delivery, I-CAR is better poised to arm the industry with the knowledge and skills needed, doing so at the speed of change, to address the technical tsunami that is sweeping our industry.”

For more information on I-CAR, please visit them online

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By Andrew Shepherd

OttawaOntario -- December 13, 2013 -- Whatever your thoughts about global warming, there is no doubt that extreme weather events have become much more common in recent years. Environment Canadareports that 2013 was the second highest year on record for hail storms. Western Canada saw 371 severe weather events during the year. 

After the storms subside, support personnel see a deluge of a different kind--a massive influx of insurance claims and long wait lines at collision repair facilities. Industry insiders also talk about an influx of “storm chasers” – hail repair companies that are often transitory.

This is becoming a serious issue for the collision repair industry as even cosmetic repairs now involve removing bumpers, doors and panels, reconfiguring restraint systems and management of corrosion protection, sensing technologies, etc.  In 2013 Alberta Autobody Trades Officers made a special point of enforcing laws pertaining to the use of skilled trades for any repair involving the removal or adjustment of panels.

In Fall 2013, a group of industry stakeholders met to improve the professionalism of PDR.  Wawanesa Insurance, Co-operators Insurance, Shield Autobody and Southgate Volkswagen Collision of Edmonton and PDR Canada, a major hail repair company, met with Alberta Trades and I-CAR Canada to explore the skills requirements of PDR technicians. David Rowley, Supervisor, Appraisers at Wawanesa, noted that  “We ended up focusing on 13 courses, or about 50 hours of training.  We certainly feel that this could form a minimum requirement with today’s complex vehicles, but we understand that much more industry consultation is going to happen.”

Domenic Serra, President and CEO of PDR Canada, is fully supportive. “We operate across Canada, dealing with every weather condition Canada has to offer – we need to ensure our staff is trained as thoroughly as possible,” he says. “And frankly the consumer and the insurer are going to be better protected if there is some sort of skills requirement for PDR companies.” 

Serra has already committed his staff to the training path developed by the group.

Jeff Hicks, owner of Shield Autobody in Edmonton, has also encouraged all of his staff to participate in I-CAR training.  “We’re going to advise the other insurers in our area – we all want safe, efficient repairs for our customers and we’re proud that we’ve developed a solution with I-CAR Canada” says Hicks.  “This is a great step forward for the industry.”

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