|Treschak's Mark McIntyre demonstrates welding equipment to Robert Bateman High School auto body students.|
Burlington, Ontario -- December 22, 2014 -- A group of auto body students at Robert Bateman High School were given the opportunity to try Urethane Supply's Nitro Fuzer Welding System hands-on during a recent visit to encourage youth engagement with the collision industry.
“Our trade is not getting as many young people involved as we need to,” says Treschak Enterprises' Mark McIntyre. “I would say the average age of a technician is 45 to 50-years-old.”
McIntyre agreed to direct the demonstration after speaking with the school’s auto body teacher, Michael D’Agostino about Robert Bates’ program, which reaches out to professionals outside its faculty—encompassing many fields of interest—to add an industry perspective to the school’s curriculum.
"I demonstrated welding equipment to the class and explained to them the nuances of classic repairs performed at a collision shop," says McIntyre, adding that it’s important to him to get involved with students and engage them in their studies, especially where it also doubles as a chance to provide access to the latest technologies.
“They were able to see a piece of equipment that is fairly new to the industry, one they don’t have at the school,” he says. “It’s very expensive for schools to keep up-to-date with the latest materials, so this way they can try the equipment they would be using inside a shop.”
|McIntyre says students were enthusiastic about getting their hands on the Nitro Fuzer Welding System.|
The equipment the students used—the Nitro Fuzer Welding System—is a nitrogen-based plastic welding tool that allows technicians to quickly bond any type of plastic, while also eliminating the oxidation of the plastic itself. This creates a stronger weld altogether.
McIntyre says Treschak has always tried to stay involved with schools and colleges to get more young people engaged with the automotive industry, but in this case, the real driving force behind his visit was the dedication instructor D’Agostino has for teaching, guiding and helping his students.
“Mike is passionate about the industry and he stays involved with his class, keeping them current and aware of what’s out there,” McIntyre says. “Some of his students have participated in Skills Canada and have competed regionally, nationally and at the worlds. His level of commitment shows how much he wants to help students and keep them interested in the craft.”
This degree of involvement was made even more apparent when students approached McIntyre following the class. He says many thanked him for coming and demonstrated enthusiasm about the jobs and tasks they could complete with similar tools.
While this was the first time McIntyre led a session, he says he hopes it’s not the last and is also working on encouraging other manufacturers to take part and get involved in Robert Bateman’s program.
"This is really one of the best ways to connect with the younger generation," he says. "We need to be more proactive to keep the industry alive."