When Ashley Thomas, 20, told her friends and family that she was interested in auto body restoration, she received the expected reaction.
“They thought I was crazy,” Thomas said. “But I took auto body in high school and knew that I had credits that would transfer to WCC and I wanted to continue down that path.”
Thomas graduated from WCC in May 2015 and transferred to Eastern Michigan University for a degree in business. Currently employed at Transtar Autobody Technologies, Inc. in Brighton, she hopes to stay in the industry and advance to a management role.
Faculty who care
Thomas credits her instructors with not only her success in the classroom, but also with helping her become employed in the field. “They helped me create a résumé and kept me informed of local job openings. I received many interview opportunities because of my instructors.”
She also earned the chance to compete in SkillsUSA, a skill showcase for career and technical students, in April 2014. She took third in the state for Auto Body Refinishing.
Auto body at WCC
Through the Auto Body Repair program at WCC, students learn core skills such as dent removal, panel replacement, welding, automobile refinishing techniques and collision-related mechanical repair. Emphasis is placed on preparing students for employment in an ever-changing workplace. WCC also offers Advanced Auto Body certificates.
“Going to WCC was very beneficial for me in the long run,” said Thomas. “I was able to save money, find a job and stay close to my friends and family.”