Bob Benjamin of Pacific Elite Knows the Importance of Collision Repair Techs

"We work with UTI and attend their job fairs. We’ve built a great relationship with them in helping find talent for our stores and providing opportunities for these graduates."


Being in a fender bender is no fun. Following the initial shock of discovering the damage to your vehicle is the frustration of dealing with insurance. Ugh. Luckily, the entire experience can end on a high note when the collision repair professionals at Pacific Elite return your car to in close-to-new condition.

Founded in Southern California in 1998, Pacific Elite now has 17 locations, and is continuing to expand in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Which makes sense, because people are always getting into accidents. No matter how careful people are there are always going to be those moments when they back into a pole that they didn’t see, someone opens their door into another person’s car in a parking lot or some other chance encounter on the streets that leaves a car in less-than-pristine condition. There’s no shortage of damaged cars that need to be fixed, just a shortage of great places to get them repaired.

“Our biggest constraint is that we don’t have enough qualified, energetic, hardworking technicians. We need qualified technicians to take care of our customers,” says Bob Benjamin, Pacific Elite’s Chief of Operations, who has hired eight UTI graduates since the opening of their Long Beach location. “We work with UTI and attend their job fairs. We’ve built a great relationship with them in helping find talent for our stores and providing opportunities for these graduates,” he adds.

The entry level positions Bob fills are junior positions in either the paint or body departments. But as these employees learn the business and progress in their craft, they can work their way to senior body or senior painter, it’s even possible to become managers. The opportunities are there to move up, and the pay scale may be competitive depending on the company. “There are almost 33,000 collision repair stores in a 35 billion dollar industry. There’s a lot of opportunities to have a great career.”

As Pacific Elite opens more repair shops there’s something they never lose sight of—their customers. “It’s nice to see our customers come in, and after they’ve had a really bad experience, our team here that takes care of them and does a great job.”

An auto tech will keep your car running, but it’s a collision repair tech who keeps it looking good. UTI is here to help students in developing the skills they need so that they may be qualified for potential jobs in the collision repair and refinishing industry.


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