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Service King Apprentice Supervisor Shares Advice from 40+ Years of Experience

"I think UTI students realize the importance of integrity and the importance of attendance and how important that is to get a job as a technician in this industry."

 

As someone with more than 40 years of experience in the auto collision industry, Al Scott knows what it takes to build a lasting technician career. Today, Al is the apprentice supervisor for Service King Collision Repair Center. He has mentored more than 10 new professionals over more than 3 years who are looking to build long careers like he has.

During the program, apprentices work with Al for 52 weeks. Then, they work on their own for 52 weeks on commission. The program develops Service King technicians that exemplify both solid technician skills, as well as the intangible qualities Service King values.

“The apprentice supervisor role isn’t just to teach how to repair vehicles,” says Al, who has worked in the auto industry since 1976. “It’s to teach them about life. It’s about integrity, quality, safety.”

Al continues, “They need to realize how important it is to interact with other teammates and even someone at the grocery store. It’s going to set their whole attitude for when they come to the workplace. You definitely need a good attitude.”

Al has mentored and worked with several graduates from Universal Technical Institute (UTI), a school Al says is effective at training the next generation of collision repair technicians.

“I think UTI students realize the importance of integrity and the importance of attendance and how important that is to get a job as a technician in this industry,” Al says.

A Great Need for Exceptional Technicians

The apprentice program at Service King was born out of a need for highly-trained technicians, Al says.

“We felt that, in this industry, we’re losing technicians, and we don’t know how to replace them,” Al says. “We decided we wanted to have our own program and teach our own students, our own technicians, to do it the Service King way, the proper way we want them to evolve.”

Al’s own technician journey began when he was a high school student. He participated in a work program where, for the last 2 years of high school, he went to school for half a day and work for half a day. Working in a body shop, he realized that was what he wanted to do in life and went on to work in several shops over the years.

Al says Service King sees that same type of drive in students who come from UTI.

“The reason why we look to UTI, a vocational school that has taught these kids, is that someone who walks in off the street has no knowledge of repairing vehicles,” Al says. “UTI sets their foundation for the automotive industry. We will not accept anyone who walks in off the street. We need someone who has an educational background in the field of the auto technician industry.”

Al says he has been particularly impressed with one of his UTI mentees, a UTI Houston graduate named Alyssa Culver. After completing the apprentice program, Alyssa was offered a full-time job at Service King Collision Repair before she even graduated UTI.

“As far as her dedication and not being afraid to ask anyone for help or offer anyone help, that’s the kind of quality we really need in this industry,” Al says, “people who work together, not someone who stays by themselves and is worried about themselves.”

Advice from an Auto Collision Veteran

Al says despite all his years of experience, even he doesn’t know it all. With so much new technology constantly emerging, Al advises up-and-comers to welcome any advice they’re offered.

“What I would say to you is look, don’t think you know it all,” Al says. “Take the advice of people. Whether you know they’re right or wrong, don’t put anybody down for whatever advice they want to give you.”

At UTI, students get plenty of experienced advice from instructors with decades of experience. UTI’s Employment Assistance program matches up students with relevant opportunities, including early employment opportunities. Contact UTI for school information.

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