Auto Body students were given a 4 shop tour of St. Louis last month which included a visit to the Classic Car Studio (CCS), the filming location of the program “Speed is the New Black” which airs on Velocity. Owner of CCS, Noah Alexander, showed the students around the entire shop and allowed them to get up close views of some of the vehicle restorations that have been featured on the show.
Giving this kind of access and attention to our students reinforces one of the goals Alexander had for “Speed”. He was asked by the online publication Hagerty what he hoped audiences would take away from show when it premiered in 2017 and he replied, “This is an industry where it’s hard to find people who are good with their hands and who can create and build things—and finding these people gets harder every year. Part of the reason for this, I think, is that the education system doesn’t really provide a lot of opportunities for kids who might be inclined toward these kinds of skills. I know when I was in school I never knew that this was something I could be doing. I figured I would be in a cubicle somewhere selling life insurance, or maybe I’d be a doctor or a lawyer. I just knew that if I didn’t have some kind of corporate future, I’d be a nobody. I really want to inform another generation of kids that they can do this. Let’s show kids what’s possible. If they want to go to college, great. If not, that’s fine, too. They can go become a skilled craftsman or a tradesperson or an entrepreneur. They can do really well at those things in life.”
Students also toured two Schaefer Collision Centers and Central Auto Body and discovered South Tech grads at both locations. At Schaefer, students were hosted by 2014 graduates Bradley Beckham and Kyle Neely. Both have been employed by Schaefer for several years. Additionally, Neely hosts his own Facebook site called “Blue Collar Kyle” in which he does demo videos and hosts discussions on auto body repair.
Central Auto Body is owned by South Tech graduate Chris Becker who gave our students lots of information about upcoming needs in industry and opportunities for our students.
Industry tours and visits like these help South Tech ensure that our students graduate with real world skills. To learn more about openings in our transportation programs, visit our programs page at http://southtechnical.org/programs/. Additional information about the sites visited can be found at the following links: CCS – http://www.classiccarstudio.com/speedshop/, Schaefer Auto Body – http://www.schaeferautobody.com/, Central Auto Body – https://www.carwise.com/auto-body-shops/central-auto-body-rebuilders-inc-maplewood-mo-63143/469791