April 16, 2004
INFORMATION: John McElwain or John Green, (661) 362-3494 or 3684
College Named Official Automobile Welding Test Site
SANTA CLARITA College of the Canyons has been designated as an official welding skills-qualification test site for I-CAR, a non-profit organization that provides uniform training and certification for workers in the automotive collision-repair industry.
The colleges Welding Technology Department will begin the testing program on April 23, followed by a prep class beginning June 6 for those needing additional training prior to testing.
Those being tested will be directed to the college by I-CAR, a loose acronym for the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. The organization was created in 1979 to provide the industry with up-to-date technical information and the latest training in repair skills.
Most of the big insurance companies now require this certification of automotive collision-repair facilities, said Tim Baber, associate welding professor and chair of the Welding Technology Department. The insurance companies developed this welding-qualification test in partnership with the American Welding Society. It tests candidates in the gas metal arc welding process on electro-galvanized sheet metal, which is used on many of todays automobiles.
Overseeing the testing will be Burt Callender, an I-CAR-qualified test administer who comes to College of the Canyons by way of Santa Monica City College, which ceased being an I-CAR testing site when its welding department was shut down last year. The nearest I-CAR testing site is Orange Coast College, which has a six- to eight-month backlog for testing.
The I-CAR welding qualification test measures a technician's ability to perform automotive welding repairs. Welds must pass both visual and destructive tests. To date, more than 5,000 technicians throughout the United States and Canada have passed the I-CAR test.
I-CAR is an inter-industry organization with representation from collision-repair businesses, insurance companies, domestic and import vehicle makers, tool, equipment and supply manufacturers, and other companies and organizations. I-CAR conducts collision-repair research, then develops and delivers technical training programs to the industry.
I-CARs primary funding is derived from student tuition and services. This assures that I-CAR remains unbiased in developing programs and services on an industry-wide basis.
Prospective test candidates pay I-CAR approximately $400 to register for the two-hour welding test. For its part, College of the Canyons will receive approximately $50 for every I-CAR welding test it oversees.
Collision-repair companies and technicians interested in becoming I-CAR certified should call I-CAR (not the college) at (800) 422-7872. Additional information is available online at http://www.i-car.com.