It takes a lot to throw Joey Bruno off his game.
The third-year apprentice in the Auto Body and Collision Technician training at Okanagan College was on his way to a Skills Provincials competition on April 22 when the car he was riding in rear-ended another vehicle.
“I knew our car was a write-off, but I also knew I could fix it,” said Bruno.
By sheer coincidence, he was heading to the Skills Automotive Collision Repair provincial competition, where he set to compete. Bruno arrived late and tried to put the car out of his mind. “I was more concerned about the competition,” he recalls. “I wanted to go in, finish, and think about the accident later.”
Skills Canada helps prepare British Columbia’s youth for the highly skilled economy through competitions like the one Joey participated in. The competition was eight hours of skill and knowledge testing stations. Each station evaluated Joey’s abilities to weld, complete precise vehicle structure dimension measurements, and preform plastics and sheet metal repairs. Joey excelled through each timed task with confidence.
“Joey looked fatigued, but he kept on going. He’s a very determined person,” says Andreas Roth, OC’s Collision Repair Instructor.
Bruno completed his assignments, saw nobody else had finished and that some had even quit. That’s when he realized he was going to come out on top.
Bruno is working at Craftsman Collision Repair in Abbotsford, B.C. He credits OC with his success, praising the facilities and quality of instruction. Roth, who was Bruno’s coach at the provincials, came to OC as a student in 2014 and also won medals at provincial and national skills competitions before becoming an instructor.
Bruno is now looking forward to competing at the Skills Canada competition in Vancouver on May 25, but first he wants to repair the car he was riding in at the time of the accident.
To find out more about OC’s Collision Repair programs, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/collisionrepair.