3M Opens 3M Skills Development Center

3M Opens 3M Skills Development Center

The new training facility is dedicated to upskilling technicians and fostering talent in the collision repair industry.

3M announced the grand opening of the 3M™ Skills Development Center, a new, 15,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art training facility in St. Paul, Minnesota. The 3M Skills Development Center is dedicated to educating and upskilling technicians across all experience levels on the most updated automotive collision repair and refinishing processes through intensive, hands-on training, the company said.

The need for qualified collision repair technicians is significant, yet the industry faces challenges in attracting and retaining talent, 3M said.

“With rapidly changing vehicle technology and a shortage of qualified collision repair technicians, investment in training is crucial to today’s aftermarket,” said Dave Gunderson, president, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “Whether technicians are here to deepen their skills, challenge their own experiences or learn from experts to broaden their knowledge of collision repair, we want the 3M Skills Development Center to be the source of continuing education for industry leaders.”

The 3M Skills Development Center builds on 3M’s commitment to investing in training for skilled trades, according to the company. The facility complements its suite of online training programs available through the 3M™ Collision Repair Academy, offering a dedicated physical space for technicians to experience comprehensive and hands-on training courses led by seasoned collision repair experts.

Core to the 3M Skills Development Center are multi-day training courses for technicians that are focused on body repair, paint preparation and refinishing, 3M said. And with an eye toward bringing new talent into the trades, each summer the 3M Skills Development Center also hosts vocational technical instructors from across the country for intensive training courses on proper OEM repair procedures.

With the new, dedicated training facility and training staff, 3M said it will be able to accommodate over 100 training sessions annually, providing hands-on education to over 1,000 technicians and associated industry professionals – ranging from seasoned experts looking to enhance their comprehensive understanding of the latest OEM specs and repair Standard Operating Procedures, to students who are exploring careers in collision repair and attending vocational training for the first time.

Leading instruction at the 3M Skills Development Center is a dedicated and passionate staff of seasoned collision repair veterans who bring over 85 years of combined industry experience and expertise in OEM repair procedures and requirements, with 60 of those years spent working on the shop floor as technicians, according to 3M.

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