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techdirections March 2017 : Page 19

the Need Never Ends The growing complexity of vehicles and sophisticated new OEM finishes, combined with new products, tools, and methodologies, give credence to the fact that even the most skilled technician can never have enough train-ing. Each year at PPG Automotive Refinish, we introduce a minimum of four to five new products for each of our collision brands. Some are specially designed to enhance throughput and reduce cycle time, while others can add to the quality of refinish work or improve ease of use. Providing technicians with hands-on experience and instruction with these products is critical. recertification is Essential One way to ensure technicians are up-to-speed and familiar with the advantages of new products and their proper application is through the recertification classes offered by the paint suppliers at their training facilities. Generally, refinish painters are required to be recertified every two years in order to maintain the collision center’s certification and to continue to offer a manufacturer-backed paint guarantee. Yet not every shop takes advan-tage of the painter recertification opportunity. Some may feel it’s unnecessary, while other shop managers resist Each year PPG Automotive refinish introduces a mini-mum of four to five new products for each of their colli-sion brands. Providing technicians with hands-on experi-ence and instruction with these products is critical. which is understandable. It can provide an evaluation of product performance under real-world shop conditions, while keeping technicians on the job earning their pay-check. However, there’s a better case for taking advantage of off-site training whenever possible. Simply put, you can expect a much higher level of retention when training is conducted at a professional training facility. Training “on the fly”, on-site, can be disruptive, and often does not command the full attention of the techni-cians placed in a multi-tasking situation. On the other hand, taking technicians out of their normal work environ-ment and placing them in a professional learning setting enables them to give their full, undivided attention to the subject matter at hand while learning from experienced, specialized trainers. The setting is correct. The curricu-lum is correct. Plus there's plenty of opportunity for ques-tions as well as networking with other technicians for an exchange of ideas and tips. Off-site training is especially essential whenever a collision center is transitioning to a completely new refin-ishing system. At PPG, we know this to be true based on recertification classes offered by paint suppliers can ensure technicians are up to speed with the advantages of new products and their proper application. taking an employee out from a busy workflow. Still others simply overlook the need. From my point of view, the benefits of recertification are definitely worth the investment—not only for the overall performance improvement it can bring to the paint operation, but also to the employee’s growth and sense of professionalism. Five levels exist in PPG’s Tech-nician Certification Program: Blue, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Master levels. As a painter attends training every two years, he or she will advance to the next level and further enhance his or her sense of pride and achievement, while the shop gains in employee loyalty. on-Site vs. off-Site training There's a preference among many shop owners and managers that refinish training be conducted on-site, off-site training can provide a much higher level of reten-tion when conducted at a professional training facility. aUtomotive tecHnoLogy 19

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