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The California Autobody Association and Mentors @ Work Join Forces To Create Apprenticeship Program

The California Autobody Association (CAA) and Mentors @ Work have created a partnership to address one of the industry’s most pressing needs — the development of tomorrow’s workforce. The California Autobody Association is a non-profit collision repair association that has been in business since 1966 and includes more than 1,000 dedicated businesses. Mentors At Work, founded in 2001, provides automotive repair and collision shops with a full plan for shop implementation of an on-line apprenticeship program, complete with attracting, training, retaining and tracking components.

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ST. CHARLES, IL and SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Autobody Association (CAA) and Mentors @ Work have created a partnership to address one of the industry’s most pressing needs — the development of tomorrow’s workforce.

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The California Autobody Association is a non-profit collision repair association that has been in business since 1966 and includes more than 1,000 dedicated businesses. Mentors At Work, founded in 2001, provides automotive repair and collision shops with a full plan for shop implementation of an on-line apprenticeship program, complete with attracting, training, retaining and tracking components.

The new program, entitled the CAA “Techs For Tomorrow” Apprenticeship Program – Powered by Mentors @ Work, will help CAA members maximize their effectiveness in attracting, training and retaining new talent for this industry.

“We see this partnership with Mentors @ Work as leading the charge to help solve what our members, and the Department of Labor (DOL), say is one of their greatest challenges,“ said Steve Sturken, president of the CAA and owner of Sturken Auto Body in San Jose, Calif. “Our industry needs to be proactive in creating the workforce of tomorrow. We believe that the CAA “Techs For Tomorrow” Apprenticeship Program will help our members do just that.”

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“When it comes to workforce development, shops in this industry have often ended up on the losing side, sometimes losing as many as 7 out of 10 of the new people they hire,” added Mark Claypool, president and CEO of Mentors @ Work. “Shops that follow this system, which meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Labor’s standards, will have a much greater chance of succeeding with the new people they hire.”

“We look forward to working with the CAA and Mentors @ Work to help make this partnership as strong as possible,” said Michael Longeuay, regional director for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. “The automotive industry is one of the high-growth fields that we are targeting at the DOL. Working together, we will help the CAA Apprenticeship Program become registered with the DOL, then we will offer all the benefits and support services that registered programs are entitled to.”

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CAA Executive Director David McClune and Mentors @ Work President Mark Claypool will be working closely to create a unique partnership that will benefit each CAA member starting today and into the future.

“The indicators are out there now that tell us apprenticeship has to be part of the continued growth of employees in our industry,” said McClune. “As a non-profit association, we are in a position to work closely with companies like Mentors @ Work to organize and implement training through a number of government agencies that only non-profit groups can do.”

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For more information, go to the CAA web site at or call the CAA at (916) 646-8111, or Mentors @ Work at (630) 762-0614.

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