For more than six years, the partnership between Lincoln Tech’s Melrose Park, IL campus and the Erie-LaSalle Body Shop of Chicago has paid off for both parties. Since 2010 Bob Gottfred from Erie-LaSalle has served on the Advisory Panel for Lincoln Tech’s Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology program, working closely with Education Supervisor Mark Barzyk. This relationship has bolstered the school’s curriculum and helped supply a respected local shop with a steady flow of skilled technician candidates.
Gottfred’s input as an advisor ensures Lincoln Tech’s training program is current to the needs of the collision repair industry. His family opened the Erie-LaSalle Body Shop in 1934, and it has stayed in the same location for more than 80 years. It is among the oldest body shops in Chicago and is well known by locals for servicing all types of vehicles, including high-end cars, trucks and SUVs that need body work that includes repairs, refinishing, and custom paint jobs.
Erie-LaSalle has hired a number of graduates since the school originally known as Greer College of Automotive Engineering became Lincoln Tech in 1969. Gottfred and his team stay in close contact with Lincoln Tech’s Career Services department, letting the school know about upcoming openings and asking to meet future graduates. For Lincoln Tech students, a career with the Erie-LaSalle Body Shop is a coveted position in the “Gold Coast” of downtown Chicago.
Erie-LaSalle Body Shop Donates Nitrogen Welder
Recently, the Erie-LaSalle Body Shop won a nitrogen welder from the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Golf Fundraiser, and generously donated it to Lincoln Tech in Melrose Park. Valued at $3,800, this piece of equipment also comes with on-site training.
“The unit came complete with everything we need to be able to start welding right away,” Barzyk says. “My staff, students, and I are extremely grateful to Erie-LaSalle for this donation and are positive that this is another step toward staying on track with current technologies.”
After calling Lincoln Tech to let the school know he’d be donating the nitrogen welder, Gottfred also asked to have more resumes sent over for Lincoln students seeking employment.
Training That Builds Better Career Prospects
Partnering with a respected body shop such as Gottfred’s helps Lincoln Tech graduate highly-prepared, well-trained collision repair and refinishing candidates – candidates who can really make an impact on the teams that hire them. Graduates can hit the ground running knowing they are well educated and equipped with “soft skills” and hands-on training to handle the work load both professionally and technically.
Erie-LaSalle’s generous recent donation will help enhance the training Lincoln Tech provides its students. “Plastic nitrogen welding is the latest trend in the collision repair industry because it is a more cost effective method of all types of plastic repairs,” Barzyk explains. “The nitrogen welder is helping to keep our program and students current with the latest trends in the Collision industry.”
Lincoln Tech is proud to partner with Robert Gottfred and the team at Erie-LaSalle Body Shop. If you’re ready to build a better future in your own career – if you love cars, have an eye for detail and a flair for the creative – look into hands-on collision repair training at a campus near you!