Nick Penner likes to put smiles on people’s faces, give back to his community, and provide his students with challenges.
The instructor for UFV’s Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing program was able to do all three recently with a car giveaway that came together very quickly thanks to some community partners.
“When I was working in the industry locally we always used to fix up a car to give away around Christmas-time, and with UFV’s Trades and Technology Centre hosting an open house in March, I thought that refinishing a car and giving it away in one day would be a good way to highlight our program. It would also help out a recipient who could use some reliable transportation,” says Penner.
So Penner went to work procuring donations. Mertin GM came through with a Chevy Cavalier and Fortin’s Supply provided paint and other supplies. Tom Thompson donated a new windshield, and Ken’s Tire and Wheel provided new tires and rims. Penner and eight of his students then committed to a 10-hour-makeover, doing in one work day what usually takes many hours over several days. Through teamwork and other efficiencies, they were able to compress the process of taking apart the vehicle, sanding it down, completing bodywork, and painting it in during the UFV Trades and Technology open house at the Canada Education Park in Chilliwack on March 14. The students involved in the project are from Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Mission.