It’s a straightforward process for owner of Peter’s Body Shop
Roger Bonn began working at his father’s auto body shop in high school. He didn’t know much about the work at the time, but thanks to his mentor, Vern, he learned the tools and tricks of the trade.
“You can’t do that anymore. You can’t take 25 percent of your best people’s time to teach new employees from the ground floor.” Roger said. “There’s simply too much pressure about productivity.”
That’s where St. Cloud Technical & Community College comes in.
“The college teaches students the fundamentals, so when they get here they can easily replace a bumper and fix a dent in a door quickly,” Roger explained. “They get exposed to new technology too.”
Roger understands developing curriculum for the industry is a delicate balance between doing what national organizations say is important now for certification and what local shops know to be their reality day in and day out. That’s why he’s an active member of SCTCC’s Auto-body program advisory board as well as local, state, and regional trade organizations: to be a voice. And he doesn’t stop there.
His investment of time, talent, and funding extends beyond the program that is most familiar to him. In fact, Roger served as president of the SCTCC Foundation Board (which his father helped establish in 1996). He also was an unwavering voice in the DRIVEN Campaign for the renovation and expansion of SCTCC’s autobody and medium/heavy truck labs in 2013. Specifically, Roger logged many miles, speaking on behalf of industry and the college at the State Capital, economic forums, and legislative visits around the state. Finally, his family has invested in student success by providing annual scholarships.
For him, it’s a natural part of doing business.
“We want to give back to an industry that has been very good to our family and business. And we want to help those who might not have the wherewithal to change their lives,” Roger said. “If we can attract people to this industry and give back to the industry, this will build up a strong work force for years to come and make a such difference in our community.”
Owner, Peter’s Body Shop