Forrest Scene

March 2013 News Releases

Washburn Tech Instructor Receives Instructor of the Year Award, Northeast Kansas I-CAR Committee Receives Gold Committee Recognition

Eric Showalter, Topeka, Auto Collision program instructor at Washburn Tech, received the Lon Baudoux Instructor of the Year award for the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), South Central Region at the 2013 Regional Volunteer and Instructor Conference.  The Northeast Kansas I-CAR Committee has received Gold Committee Recognition for the South Central I-CAR region for their commitment to providing needed training to the collision repair industry.

Mr. Showalter started his career in the collision repair field by graduating in 1976 with a technical certificate in Collision Repair from Kaw Area Vocational Technical School, now Washburn Tech.  He then worked as a repair technician in various shops before owning his own I-CAR Gold Class shop for 10 years.  He joined Washburn Tech as in instructor in 2004.  He is an Automotive Service Excellence Master Certified Technician and is an accredited automotive manager through the Automotive Management Institute.  His additional certifications include PPG Paint certification, OSHA 10 certification, and he is I-CAR Platinum certified as a steel structural technician, steel non-structural technician, estimator, and refinish technician.  Mr. Showalter serves on the Washburn Tech Recycled Rides committee, the Car Show/Care Closet committee, is a United Way volunteer, assists with the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex, partners with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists' Student Night of Achievement, serves on the Washburn Tech National Technical Honor Society committee, and is a SkillsUSA Advisor. 
Among other accomplishments, Mr. Showalter, the Washburn Tech Auto Collision program and its Advisory Council, and the Northeast Kansas Committee brought the National Auto Body Council's Recycled Rides program to Washburn Tech in 2011 which repairs non-working and damaged vehicles so they can be donated to area individuals and families in need.  Washburn Tech is the first educational institution in the nation to be a Recycled Rides training facility.  Washburn Tech repaired and donated three vehicles to area residents in the 2011-12 academic year and is planning to donate another two in 2012-13.
The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) is an international, not-for-profit training organization focusing on helping the industry achieve a high level of technical training.  Collision repair facilities which have reached a high level of training are classified as Gold Class, which informs consumers these businesses are dedicated to employing high quality technicians.  A list of Gold Class facilities is available at  I-CAR South Central Region member firms serve the more than 50,000,000 residents of Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The Washburn Tech Auto Collision program offers a hands-on, 50-credit technical certificate that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, reconstruct, and refinish all types of vehicles.

I-CAR Enhanced Delivery Curriculum and National Automobile Technician Education Foundation (NATEF) standards are utilized to meet industry employment requirements.  Instruction is provided in safety, analyzing damage, estimating, metal and body work, performing complete and partial painting, glass replacement and final detailing, structural repair, and plastic and sheet molded compound repair.  Students perform typical collision repair jobs in the program lab.

Washburn Tech offers 25 technical programs, most of which are about 48 credits in length, in one of five divisions – Construction, Health Care, Transportation, Human Services, and Technology.  In addition, short-term continuing education and custom courses are offered.

Washburn Tech, which serves post-secondary and high school students, has one of the highest graduation rates of any public technical institution in Kansas, 83 percent.

To inquire about technical programs or future courses please contact Washburn Tech at 785.273.7140 or visit our website,