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Minnesota collision shop connects with auto body tech program

Shop provides sponsored uniforms and helps foster next generation of technicians through internship program and college support

Mankato, Minn.—Jerry’s Abra, a locally owned and operated collision repair facility located in Mankato, Minn., has provided and sponsored uniforms for technical college students in the community.

The donation was made possible by partnering with other organizations including I-CAR’s Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) and the Cintas Corporation.

Among the uniform recipients are South Central College students who are currently enrolled in the auto body technology program. This sponsorship will ensure that all students have the proper repair uniform to wear during class. Owners of Jerry’s Abra, Jerry, Geri, and Laura Kottschade visited the school to gift the students their new uniforms and make connections with the next generation of collision repair experts.

“South Central College has an impressive group of students,” said Geri. “The instructors, Dan and Jay, have done a remarkable job in recruiting top women and men to their program. We are so grateful to partner with this school and look forward to continuing to build these bright individuals’ careers.”

By building this connection, two second-year students from South Central College have been part of the Jerry’s Abra internship program since they were in their first year of the auto body technology program.

Laura and Geri both sit on the advisory panel to help nurture and continue to grow the auto body technology program. Additionally, Laura also works on the Skills Jerry’s program that has been built at Jerry’s Abra where it is the philosophy that the degree is comprised of four years, two in school and two working at the collision repair center. In doing this, Laura has helped foster and place focus on the education and training piece for students to ensure career longevity.

“The Skills Jerry’s program has made a large impact on student development in this field,” continued Kottschade. “Laura has been incredible in building this program to help students gain a full understanding of the field and set them up for success with not only their first job after graduating, but for many years to come.”

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