Class in Session: Canadian Collision Repair Academy hosts open house

Milton, Ontario — The Canadian Collision Repair Academy (CCRA) held an open house on Tuesday to bring auto industry professionals inside Canada’s first-ever dedicated OEM training centre, for Volkswagen Group Canada.

The CCRA is located at the Canadian Welding Bureau headquarters in Milton, Ont., and features top-of-the-line equipment from companies like Celette, Filco, Flatline, Pro Spot, Spanesi, Titanium Tools and others. The investments to create the project would be more than $1 million, said Scott Wideman, collision program manager for Volkswagen, had it not been for the support of the OEM and CWB’s combined industry partners.

Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli was on-site to discuss the decision to build the training centre, along with Milton’s longtime mayor, Gordon Krantz.

First announced last October, the CCRA aims to improve the competency of Canada’s collision repair technicians by offering welding certification and organizing events with Skills Canada to attract youth to the trade.

Initial plans for the CCRA began in January 2021; Collision Repair first learned of the facility’s construction in early 2022. The first training sessions were hosted at the CCRA in November 2022.

“This [training centre] is critical,” said Pierre Boutin, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group Canada. “We used to [have to] send all of our training candidates to the United States–I was shocked to hear that, in this country, we were still missing such important tools for the industry’s development. To have the opportunity to develop such expertise right here in Canada–that is critical to us.”

The academy says it will work with the Women’s Industry Network to attract women to the collision repair industry and host educational sessions on safe, proper repair, with insurance companies, repairers and government officials.


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