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Auto Painters "Top Gun" Competition Blasts Off at PCC Rock Creek Campus Nov. 13
Photos and Story by James Hill
Local auto body painters who use the Akzo Nobel brand will converge on Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus on Nov. 13 to compete in the company’s "Top Gun" automobile painting competition from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Building 2, Room 126 on the campus. The PCC Rock Creek Campus is located at 17705 N.W. Springville Road.
PCC has had a long-standing partnership with Akzo Nobel, an international paint manufacturer, according to Steve White, the Auto Collision Repair faculty department chair.
"This company has been a supplier to us and we’ve had a really good relationship with them," White said, adding that techs from the company sometimes come to PCC classrooms to educate students on the fine points of painting procedures and products. Products relating to paint application and paint are frequently donated to the Auto Collision Repair program by reps from Akzo Nobel, he continued.
That relationship translated into PCC eagerly hosting the competition, which will pit local auto painters against each other in a matching of wits, sheer painting skill and speed. Competitors will take written tests on their craft related to environmental and safety issues, be asked to determine the correct paint type and color for a certain car and then they’re off painting like there’s no tomorrow.
White noted that auto painters at top companies in and around Oregon who can work fast and maintain a high level of quality can achieve salaries of up to $100,000 a year.
"If the system set up works and the shop is efficient," White explained, "the faster, smarter and harder they work, the more money they can make, anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000, or up to $100,000 a year. If they are efficient and are set up in a productive system they can do really well."
White added that PCC’s Auto Collision Repair program teaches the kinds of skills needed to succeed in that environment. After PCC’s program, many students have worked toward their journeyman status and then on to lucrative careers in the field.
To see the pros at work, the all-day competition will begin at 8 a.m. The public is welcome to attend the event. For more information, contact Steve White at 614-7229, or Kevin Byrd at Akzo Nobel, 255-1982.