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Letter to the Editor
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Monday June 28

Nominations Requested by Mentors At Work for New Mentor of the Year Award to be Presented at NACE

Mentors at Work, LLC, has announced the creation of a new award to recognize the vital work technicians who “mentor” others do for this industry. The “Mentor Of The Year” award will be presented to the individual who has shown exceptional skill and prowess in teaching and training new technician talent for the collision repair industry. The award will be presented at this year’s NACE, November 2nd during the Collision Industry Night of Achievement.

Nomination forms may be requested from Mentors At Work by calling 630-762-0614 or via e-mail at info@mentorsatwork.com and are due by September 17th.

“When you consider the chilling statistics regarding the bleak future of our industry’s skilled workforce, we need all the help we can get. Mentors throughout the country will play a crucial role in developing the workforce of tomorrow for shops that empower them to do so,” said Mark Claypool, President and CEO of Mentors at Work. “For three and a half years we have been working closely with shops to address the skilled worker shortage issue, and many shop mentors have blown us away with their people skills, teaching skills and dedication to this industry and their employers.”

“This dedication and the above and beyond the normal call of duty efforts deserve everyone’s appreciation for the positive impact these initiatives will have on our long-term ability to fix cars right and in a timely manner,” added Claypool. “As I often say during my workshops, nothing happens until human hands touch the car. By creating this new “Mentor Of The Year” Award, we are able to recognize those who are currently mentoring others and encourage shop owners and managers to consider building effective mentoring/apprenticeship programs within their shops. This, in turn, will help our industry attract, train and retain the talent we will need for the future.”

According to Claypool, the things the judges will be looking for when reviewing nominations for “Mentor Of The Year” are:

  • What makes the nominee stand out as a trainer compared to other talented techs in the shop?
  • What do apprentices who have been working with the nominee say about them?
  • What communications skills and teaching skills does the nominee use to train others?
  • What has the nominee done to teach new hires about the world of work beyond just the technical skills? And more.

“We want nominations about people who motivate others to learn, people who take every opportunity to help others learn, people who work in a way that makes others want to emulate them, and provide positive reinforcement when it is earned and constructive criticism when necessary,” Claypool continued.

“There are some fine techs in this industry who simply aren’t equipped to teach others,” added Claypool. “It takes a special set of talents, beyond skill and speed, to be a mentor. We, as an industry, are way overdue in paying homage to these special people within our shops.”

Mentors At Work provides free screening of mentor candidates on its home page.

Claypool, considered by many to be one of the nation’s leading experts on occupational mentoring and apprenticeships, is the founder of Mentors At Work. Claypool served as the SkillsUSA/VICA TeamUSA Leader at last summer’s World Skills Competition. He is a former Executive Director of the National Auto Body Council (NABC), the I-CAR Education Foundation and was National Director of Development for SkillsUSA/VICA. In May of this year, Claypool was a featured panelist during an international conference on the role of mentoring in society.

Mentors At Work was founded in 2001 to help the automotive industry be successful in building successful apprenticeship and occupational mentoring programs.

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