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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Does it cost too much to provide technical education?

As you may know, technology changes at a very rapid pace and the need for updated equipment and advisement is a constant, making it a challenge to stay up-to-date. The rising costs of quality materials and supplies contribute to the fact that technical programs cost more to provide than many other programs.

While the cost is high to provide technical programs, the cost not to provide the programs may be much higher. It's clear that four year college degrees and all academic type programs are not for all students. Without technical programs available will leave some students with no options in their career path and no future hope of securing a decent, honest career. This contributes to a higher dropout rate leaving these students with no skills to obtain a job. Many of these students will work for low wages struggling to live from paycheck to paycheck. Some may also seek assistance from the state, while others may turn to theft, robbery, selling drugs, or other illegal crimes to compensate as their means for survival. High crime rates also contribute to our extremely high cost of operating jails and prisons. Many of these students probably would rather have an honest and decent job, but have never had the opportunity presented to them. In addition, every student should have the opportunity to have a piece of the "American Dream" and be able to have the pride that comes from being successful.

According to the National Assessment of Vocational Education (NAVE) report career and technology play an important part of high school curriculum. These courses prepare students for the world of work and post secondary education. They also report that two-thirds of America’s young people do not obtain a four year degree and at least 25% of them go directly to work after high school.

Time magazine wrote an alarming article called "Dropout Nation." I found it interesting, as it talks about vocational educations as one of the solutions to Americas Dropout Rate. In addition, towards the end of the article it talks about a student using auto body repair as a career path and as a motivator to keep him in school. Click here to read the full story.

They had an additional article "Arnold Sells His Road to Success." "I have talked to many kids who tell me they don't want to go to college, so why graduate?" says the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "They don't see an end goal. They can't visualize it." Click here to read the full story.

I believe it is crystal clear, that technical and vocational programs need to be available for these students so we can welcome their differentiations. We need to help them discover their talents and capitalize on each of their strengths to produce employable individuals, rather then watching them fall through the cracks of society. It’s clear that it is a much wiser choice to provide the training for these students to learn how to earn and contribute to society.

Visit us on the web at www.LearnAutoBody.com if you're involved in the automotive or collision repair industry. We're looking to network with instructors, students and others in the industry to provide optimum results within the industry. We'll be glad to hear from you.

~Donnie Smith

Friday, December 28, 2007

What's so special about Chip Foose...?

Chip Foose is a custom car designer on a reality television show. It seems like reality shows are a dime a dozen these days and there are a lot of talented car designers out there. It almost seems like everyone perceives Chip as the "Elvis" (king) of custom car design. What is it about Foose that draws people to him?

I'm not trying to discredit Foose, as I actually think he is the most talented custom car designer of today. However, I think we can all agree that there is something different about Chip. I don't think it's Foose's talent that makes him so unique. I think it's his fragrance.

This will make sense it a minute, but let me ask you a question. Have you ever smelt something that reminded you of a time and place? Every time I smell coffee, eggs and toast I remember early mornings at my grandparents home. They would get up at the crack of dawn and get the mixtures of aromas flowing through the house. The smell would wake me up. At the same time, the aroma reminds me of hot summer nights, as that is usually when I would spend the night with them. I can remember this pleasent memory just as clear as yesterday, even though that was many years ago. There are many other smells that remind me of certain times or situations. (Some good and some not so good...) The point of this paragraph is to convey the power of a smell. Well, people have a fragrance too.

I heard a sermon from Pastor Dykes in Texas about fragrances. The way he explained it was something like this. Your fragrance lets people know who you are and where you've been. For instance, if you've been at a smoky bar drinking alcohol, you're obviously going to smell like booze and smoke. If an officer pulls you over on your way home, he will know where you've been before you ever say a word. Your fragrance would be a give-a-way of what you've been up to. Another example is eating a bunch of garlic...need I say more?

Well, back to Chip Foose. The sermon was about the fragrance of Christians. There is just something different about them, something unique. People can tell who they are and what they stand for, without them having to say a word. Foose has the fragrance that lets people know that he is different. I don't know if he is a Christian or not, nor have I ever read anything about it. However, I think his fragrance produces the scent of Christianity. Now that's just my opinion, but I'm certain we can all agree that he is a sincere and honest person, as he has the "good guy" reputation. People can determine this just by watching him on Overhaulin'.

I am a big fan of Chip's work and I love cars; however, it's not his talent or his custom cars that impress me. It's the fragrance he produces. I think the world needs a lot more people just like him. Wouldn't it be nice to hear more Foose stories and other good things that happen to people when we turn on the television? Unfortunately, most television programs and news are negative and about bad things that happen.

So turn off the news and turn on an uplifting episode of Overhaulin' and watch, the "king" of custom car design at work, where good things DO happen to people.

~Donnie Smith

If you are involved in the automotive industry, we invite you to join our automotive blog network. Go to www.LearnAutoBody.com and clink on Automotive Blog Network. We'll be glad to hear from you.
Here is a music video by Nickelback, "If Everyone Cared," I think you may like.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Special Merry Christmas Story...

Wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Here is a Christmas Eve Special just for you.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Could the car you drive be co$ting you?

Depending on how much your vehicle will cost to repair, if involved in an accident, will determine your insurance rates. This may be something you should consider when you purchase your next car. Watch the short video for more information.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Are You Paying Too Much For Insurance?

Do you know if you're paying too much for insurance. Well, just because you shopped around when you purchased your policy does not mean you are currently getting the best rate available. It's a good idea to check around and shop for the best rates at least once per year. You may be surprised what you may save.

There are a lot of insurance that will offer special rates if you meet certain criterias. For example, Liberty Mutual, which I use, offers discounts for a number of organizations you belong to. Be sure to ask about discounts when getting your quote to assure you get the best rates.

Depending on your needs and situations will help you determine which company to go with. However, I recommend adding Libery Mutual to you list to check, as they've always kept their premium under what others could offer. However, if you find better rates and coverage please share them with us.

So, put this on your "to-do" list, along with your other New Year's resolutions.

By the way, my family and I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas. Here a special surprise for you. Click Here To Watch

Below is a video with additional insurance tips for saving money.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Your Idea May Be Worth $10,000

Have you ever had an idea, but never pursued it? Maybe it was in the back of your mind until someone else invented a similar item and put it on the market. You never know what might work. For instance, I always think everything has already been thought of. However, people are coming up with more ideas now, than ever before.

Let's look at Myspace. It was already in existence, but that didn't discourage Mark Zuckerberg. While in college this young man in his early twenties decided design Facebook, which is now the second biggest network. Mark has been offered billions of dollars from companies like Goggle.

It's been said if you have an idea to get it out there. If you try to perfect first or procrastinate it will be outdated or on the market by the time you get it ready. If you have an idea get it out there and work out the details later.

Below is a website that awards $10,000 to the best idea every month. So if you have an idea give it a try. It may make you $10,000 richer by next month...Good Luck! CLICK HERE

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Students Vision Today

I ran across this video and thought it was interesting. I was talking to my students in class the other day about Google pages that can be shared and edited. It's similar to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page , in that it can be edited by others with collaboration. It's really a fascinating concept and it's amazing of how the world we live has changes over the last decade. Students are multi-taskers being able to perform well in this environment.

Anyway, I showed this Youtube video to my students; and to my surprise they knew many of the students on the video. The video was made by K-State students, which I did not notice the first time I watched it. Take a look at it. I think you too, will find it interesting.

~Donnie Smith

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Have a Political Correct Merry Christmas

I started this blog to share with you thoughts and resources related to the automotive industry. However, as mentioned in the introduction, I can add additional thoughts that may not be appropriate in a college environment.

With Christmas right around the corner I thought this would be an appropriate time to show a Christmas story. To see the political correct version watch this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDqu7kNX5zI Enjoy!