Auto Body Training
Newgate School is a tuition-free vocational school with a personalized program and a high success rate. The training program generally lasts about 18 months. The teacher-student ratio is low, 1 to 6, which allows for individualized instruction and extra help if English is not the student s native language. Students proceed at their own pace working on individual projects or as part of a team solving larger problems.
Newgate students learn basic skills that will prepare them for a variety of apprenticeships in the auto industry. They will also develop life skills and self-confidence, and learn how to get a good job and how to keep it.
The auto body program began in 1975. Newgate auto body graduates are working throughout the Twin Cities.
Collision repair centers, customizing shops, restoration services, auto accessory shops, hot rod shops.
Newgate instructors are skilled automotive technicians who have the practical knowledge that could only come from their many years of work in auto body shops. They know first-hand what they re teaching and what their students need to learn.
Throughout the training process, each student is guided toward developing responsible behavior, a strong work ethic, and the confidence needed to succeed in a career.
AUTO BODY CURRICULUM
- Interior cleaning including extraction
- Buffing polishing
- Inspection procedures for all vehicle fluids
- Identifying body mechanical problems
- Introduction to small dent repair
- Introduction to basic welding
- Tire repair
- Planning sequence of repairs
- Panel replacement alignment; bonding procedures
- Rubber bumper plastic parts repairs
- Dent repair for metals plastics
- Basic electrical
- Glass replacement
- Welding using wire feed torches
- Surface preparation sanding
- Taping, priming; sealers
- Color mixing matching; cleaners
- Wet sand buffing
- Understanding gauges set-up
- Basic pulling
- Suspension alignment
- Understanding uni-body framed vehicles
Safety environmental procedures
Keng Lee, Auto Body Student
“Sure, I could say I have a favorite teacher at Newgate. But it wouldn t be true. They re all really good,” Keng Lee says.
Keng is in his final months of training at Newgate. “The guys are helping me learn to work quickly, and to refine my skills. I really want to be employable. I d like to get an apprenticeship in a leading body shop.”
With a new baby boy and a 2-year-old girl, Keng is a busy dad. But he still finds time to race his motorcycle and take the family fishing.
Don Smieja, Auto Body Instructor
Don Smieja is almost as well known for his fun sense of humor as he is for his excellent teaching skills.
No one leaves a day at Newgate Auto Body without a laugh and a joke from Don. Or without several priceless prep and painting tips for their future workplace.
Once a Newgate student himself, Don worked in the auto body field, then returned to teach. “I get a kick out of seeing young people leave here and fit into good careers right away. There s a little bit of magic here.”
On summer evenings and weekends, Don plays on a softball team he s been with for the past 25 years. And he restores cars, a hobby he started as a kid. Even Don s 2 adult sons covet his muscle car classic, a Buick 71 Gran Sport.