An Okanagan College student, Joey Bruno, is preparing to compete at BC’s Provincial Skilled Trades and Technology competition later this month.
Bruno is a third year auto body and collision technician student who was inspired by his father to pursue collision repair.
“My father was in the industry for 30 years and I have always been around vehicles. The older I got, the more love I had for automotive,” Bruno explained.
The Collision Repair department at OC took notice of Bruno’s skill level and asked him to represent the school at Skills Provincials, where he will complete different types of welding, structural dimension measurements and dent repair on plastic and aluminum materials.
The final component of the competition is a structural repair of a specific automotive component such as a fender.
Andreas Roth, OC’s Collision Repair instructor, said Bruno has all the qualities needed to succeed in the event.
“The competition itself is really challenging,” noted Roth.
“You’re working in a fenced-off area and people are watching you work. It’s almost a spectator sport.”
Roth won gold when he competed for OC in the same competition in 2017 and is now coaching Bruno through it.
“The fact you are there means you’re already a winner,” Roth said.
“But it’s a boost to your career. Employers look at you a little differently, instructors look at you differently and you look at yourself a little differently, too. It’s an achievement and it builds your confidence.”
Bruno is currently working at Central Abbotsford Craftsman where he is perfecting his skills.
“I’m excited. This is a great opportunity to show off the school and what I’ve learned,” he said.
Bruno added that choosing to attend OC in Kelowna has been the “best decision” of his life.
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