After close to a two year hiatus, a program at Amarillo College is back in full swing.
You may remember, we told you about AC's two semester auto collision program back in June.
The head of the program Eddie Casias says it may be early in the semester, but he's extremely pleased with the turnout.
He says, "we were hoping to get some students. We didn't know how many. We were hoping to have maybe 5,6,7 tops, but actually we had a better turn out than we thought. We ended up having 12 students this year, so it was a lot better turn out than we expected. "
Casias says the body shop industry, in our area included, has a high demand for qualified workers.
He believes high schools have gotten away from teaching the trades.
Casias say, "not very many people are getting into the business anymore. I'm not sure if it's just because it's not being pushed as much anymore or what the actual reason might be, but body shops are suffering these days for help."
Casias says 4 years of college isn't for everyone, nd he wants to take waht he's learned and pass it on to new students in a short amount of time.
"This class is actually a nine month course, and at the end of the course they earn a certificate of completion. With that certificate they can go out into the real world and actually get jobs in body shops," says Casias.
AC's auto collision program had been teaching students about the industry for about 25 years.
Casias says it was put on hold for the past couple of years for unknown reasons.
But at this point there are no plans on putting a stop to the program in the years to come.
We talked with a handful of auto repair shops in Amarillo, and they fully support the pogram at AC.
Many saying they would much rather hire a student out of the auto collision program than someone with no schooling.
Casias tells us there is no set limit for the number of students the class can hold.
The next auto collision program will start in the fall.
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