During NORTHEAST 2018 on March 16, top collision repair and automotive service students from Rockland BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) had the opportunity to talk with industry legends at BASF’s special “Industry Innovators” Luncheon. At the luncheon students met special guests KC Mathieu of KC’s Paint Shop, Jonathan Goolsby of Goolsby Customs and Troy Spackman of Legacy Innovations.
A takeaways from the afternoon was that success in the automotive field is possible for anyone committed to putting in the time and effort to achieve it.
“You don’t have to go to a four-year [school]; you don’t have to get a degree,” said Spackman. “You have to bust your butt, you’ve got to want it and you’ve got to be good at it… The hardest thing is finding people who want it and people willing to do the work and show up.”
“Don’t be scared to clean a toilet!” added Mathieu. “There’s nothing worse than having an employee say they’re too good to do something. You want to have a lasting impression on whoever hires you if you want to move up. Nobody walks into a shop and gets to be the lead painter; nobody [just] gets to be the head body man and get the easy-ticket jobs. That guy scrubbed the floors, swept the floors, cleaned the toilets and did whatever he could to show that he was willing to do the work to get where he wanted to be.”
Goolsby also advised the students that hard work doesn’t end when you become a shop owner.
“We’re in the shop just as much as the other guys… We’re the ones who usually stay there late at night to make sure that our guys are going to get a paycheck.”
Rockland BOCES automotive and collision repair instructor Sal Cappiello said the event provided his students an opportunity to gain insight from industry professionals.
“My students received firsthand, real-life perspectives on how to run a business, and the skills, work ethic and values needed to succeed,” Cappiello said. “They hear it from me in the classroom, but being able to go to this event and hear real stories from the field rings a bell within them. They get it, they understand it and they’re motivated.”
The NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show is hosted annually by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ). This year the event took place at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, March 16-18.
For more information on AASP/NJ, visit aaspnj.org.