World of Wheels’ give students a chance to consider collision careers

Dave Swenson, GM of Carlson Body Shop Supply, addresses students on Calgary's World of Wheels event. INSET: Entries in the latest Pedal Car Challenge, an event sponsored by Carlson.

By Mike Davey

Calgary, Alberta — February 23, 2016 — Calgary’s World of Wheels event took place recently at the BMO Centre. This year’s show featured over 400 vehicles and vendors. Since 2006, the Calgary World of Wheels show has also held Student Day. It’s an initiative that supports automotive education programs by exposing students to the wide range of opportunities in the automotive industry.

Dave Swenson, General Manager of Carlson Body Shop Supply, was one of the speakers. Swenson spoke to the gathering of over 400 students about the collision repair business, the various and varied positions to be found in the industry, and what makes the trade a good choice as a career.

“I invited them to come into our industry, and discussed how the collision centre of today is not the body shop that they may have in their mind,” says Swenson. “I pointed out to them that a lot of today’s progressive facilities are multi-million dollar businesses and how the vehicles we’re working on today use a lot of advanced materials and have elaborate computer systems. I told them that it’s an incredibly good trade to be in, especially if you’re technically minded. For one thing, it’s more recession resistant than a lot of other trades, and we’ll welcome them with open arms.”

Student Day includes a favourite event among local stakeholders: the Pedal Car Challenge. The event is sponsored yearly by Carlson Body Shop Supply. Students apply their technical skills in a hands-on project that involves planning, design, creativity, productivity and resourcefulness. It almost goes without saying that these are all skills highly valued in the collision repair industry.

Six teams from local high schools spent countless hours crafting the perfect pedal car, but only one could emerge victorious. The winning team consisted of Natasha Van Veen, Jesse Gagnon and Christopher Campeau. They represented Bishop Grandin High School in Calgary.

For more information on World of Wheels, please visit autorama.com.


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