This year 80 students participated in the two automotive areas—repair and refinish.
PPG has long been involved with SkillsUSA, primarily in the automotive segment of the national championships, and is a major sponsor of the event. The company helped establish the refinish competition in 2008 and contributes paint and other supplies from year to year, on a rotating basis with three other participating paint companies.
Also, key employees of PPG's automotive refinish business have volunteered their time and knowledge to assist students and serve as judges. This year, eight volunteers from PPG helped with the championships event, including Jamie Redd, PPG training center manager who is a segment leader in the national competition. He began by assisting SkillsUSA on the state level in 1997, then got involved on the national level.
“The PPG volunteers have a passion for SkillsUSA and the segment competitions,” Redd said. “We like what we do and are very excited to share our knowledge with the young people who want to go into automotive refinish. The skills the students learn and develop will be particularly important for our customers—and the whole industry—down the road. We are excited to support SkillsUSA, to participate in its activities and competitions and to show the students the opportunities that await them in our industry.”
According to Timothy Lawrence, SkillsUSA executive director, there is currently a shortage of painters and body repair technicians. “SkillsUSA encourages young people to consider technical careers in these areas,” he said. “By participating with SkillsUSA, PPG has the chance to ensure the high caliber of the collision industry’s workforce.”