Most of our Collision Repair and Refinishing graduates don’t immediately think of taking their skills into the aerospace industry, but maybe they should. The industry has spray guns, paint mixing and spray booths, buffers and a constant demand for parts to be fixed and painted. Huh, sounds familiar. OTC Collision alumnus Matt Williams (CR-156/2016) first heard about the possibility of working for Nextant Aerospace while he was still a student. “It was getting close to graduation and one of my instructors mentioned an aviation company was looking to hire. I had never really thought about working on planes, but now that I’ve been here almost two years, much of what I’m doing for aircraft skins and parts is very similar to what I would be doing if I were working in a traditional automotive collision shop.”
In the two years that Williams has been working at the Cleveland facility, he has already been promoted twice – he’s now the Paint Supervisor and trains new hires. He admits, “if I were in a traditional shop, I’d still be the assistant to the painter.” While each graduate can expect a period of transition after graduation finding their niche in the professional workplace, Williams says, “It took me about 8 months to feel totally comfortable and confident in what I’m doing. It wasn’t so much about the repair and painting of parts, but company software and government paperwork took some time to master.” Williams is the perfect example of our graduates putting their skills to work in areas they may not have initially considered as career options.