Vancouver, British Columbia — A young auto body technician student has been making waves at Skills Canada’s British Columbia provincial competition, as Okanagan College’s own Joey Bruno came away with a gold medal following last Friday’s event.
Bruno is a Level 2 Collision Repair Technician currently in his third year of Auto Body and Collision Technician training at Okanagan College while also apprenticing for Craftsman Collision as part of his program.
In an interview on the college’s OCNews portal earlier in April, Bruno said his inspiration to get involved in the collision repair field stem from his dad and uncle, an auto body technician and automotive painter respectively.
“My father was in the industry for 30 years, and I have always been around vehicles. The older I got, the more love I had for automotive,” said Bruno.
Bruno’s instructor, Andreas Roth, admitted the competition ahead would be tough, but said he was confident that Bruno had the skills to bring home the gold.
“The competition itself is really challenging. You’re working in a fenced-off area and people are watching you work. It’s almost a spectator sport,” said Roth.
“The fact you are there means you’re already a winner. But it’s a boost to your career. Employers look at you a little differently, instructors look at you differently and you look at yourself a little differently too. It’s an achievement and it builds your confidence.”
In a separate question-and-answer article with OCNews, Bruno said he has found learning the properties of metal and how different materials interact with certain welds to be one of the most helpful skills he learned early on in his program.
“There is a lot to consider with making a repair on metal (cutting applications, welding techniques, distribution of heat, etc.),” said Bruno.
“I have learned that most shops expect you to know how to do metal working as it’s a large portion of the business.”
Following his gold medal showing at Skills Canada’s provincial competition in B.C., Bruno is due to compete on the national level at the Skills Canada National competition from May 25 to 28 in Vancouver.