Auto body repair contest spotlights local high schoolers

Lincoln Tech hosts auto body repair competition

Is the ability to return a dented fender to pristine condition a science or an art?  In December, high school automotive students from the Chicago area competed at Lincoln Tech’s Melrose Park campus and proved that the correct answer is “both.”  Auto body work combines hands-on technical skills with artistic talent!

Lincoln Tech partnered with global paint and coating company AkzoNobel and auto parts specialists LKQ Corp. to host the Collision Refinish Skills Challenge, where students got to show off their skills repairing damaged fenders.  Contestants from Simeon Career Academy and Marengo Community High School had fun competing for prizes and bragging rights.

Auto body repair training at Lincoln Tech
Students competed for prizes at Lincoln Tech as they showed off their collision repair skills!

“It was a pleasure seeing the high school students dig in and get busy, and to see so many people from several different companies working together,” says Lincoln Tech Campus President Karen Clark.  “Without the contributions of a long list of individuals and industry partners, we could not have made this event as successful as it was.”

Auto body partners help make event a success

Clark notes that AkzoNobel, the world’s largest producer of paints, coatings and specialty chemicals for automotive markets, sent representatives Jimmy Harris and Angelo Kourelis to serve as judges for the event, and also donated a SATA spray gun for the first place prize.

Lincoln Tech was proud to partner with Chicago-based LKQ Corp., a leading provider of alternative and specialty auto body parts.  Mike Gilmour, Tom O’Neill and Dave Volpentesta of LKQ helped judge the event and donated the fenders to be worked on, along with tools that were used as prizes.  Matco Tools also donated a hammer and dolly set as a prize.

Most importantly, two members of the Chicagoland education community were instrumental in selecting, preparing, and escorting students to the competition – Simeon Career Academy’s Malcolm Thompson, and Vincent Long of Marengo C.H.S.

Lincoln Tech’s auto body instruction programs provide hands-on training in everything from dent repair to airbrushing to welding to feather edging.  If you love the art and science of auto body repair, reach out to a campus near you and start putting a professional finish on your career prospects!


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