Two VIP Tires and Service Employees Earn World Class Technician Status

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Two VIP Tires and Service Employees Earn World Class Technician Status

Two VIP Tires and Service Corp. technicians, Kenny Bridges and Brian Thibodeau, have each earned Automotive Service Excellence certification in 22 specialty areas, an achievement that qualifies them as World Class Technicians.

To reach World Class Technician status, which is the highest in the industry, technicians must undergo rigorous voluntary testing and successfully obtain Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification in 22 specialty areas.

Currently, there are 1,931 technicians who have reached World Class Technician status among the more than 895,300 automotive technicians working in the United States, according to VIP Tires and Service. With the recent achievement of Bridges and Thibodeau, the state of Maine now has eight World Class Technicians. Bridges and Thibodeau will be formally recognized by the industry when the full list of 2017 World Class Technicians is released in early 2018.

“We are extremely proud of Kenny and Brian,” says John Quirk, president and CEO of VIP Tires and Service. “Earning World Class Technician Status is a big accomplishment requiring additional time and dedication outside of work given the demanding nature of the testing. These two individuals represent the best of the best for VIP, and we know that their high level of knowledge, skill and commitment will be an asset to our customers.” 

Kenny Bridges has been a VIP technician since 2011, and is currently the service manager at the company’s Bangor, Maine, store. He has been pursuing this elite certification level for three years. His love affair with cars began when he was a young boy and led him to attend the Universal Technical Institute in North Carolina. There he found a passion for race cars and became a drive line specialist building gears and transmissions. Today, he shares that interest with his young son. 

Based at VIP’s store in the Presque Isle, Maine, Brian Thibodeau has been a VIP associate for 21 years and has served in many roles. Three years ago, he became a service technician for the company and immediately started pursuing his World Class Technician status. Working on cars is a family tradition for Thibodeau. He started at the side of his grandfather when he was a young boy. 

VIP operates 56 locations throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts and has more than 400 technicians helping customers with their automotive service needs. Collectively, VIP’s service technicians have 950 ASE certifications; 41 have earned Master Mechanic status and two have achieved World Class Technician status. VIP funds all associated costs for its technicians to gain ASE certifications. 

Quirk says: “We believe in providing our customers with excellent service and having highly skilled technicians is a critical part of that equation. For that reason, we gladly support any technician voluntarily pursuing ASE certification and fund all the testing costs.” 

To achieve World Class Technician status, Bridges and Thibodeau had to complete and successfully pass ASE testing in 22 specialty areas. Each of the 22 content specific exams have 50 to 75 questions. These tests are created and administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. The 22 tests were in the following areas:

* Automotive A1 through A8 test series or Master Automobile Technician status;

* Collision Repair and Refinishing B2 through B5 test series or Master Collision Repair/Refinish Technician status;

* Medium/Heavy Duty Truck T1 through T8 test series or Master Medium/Heavy Truck Technician status;

* Auto Advanced Engine Performance Specialist (L1); and

* Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist (L2).

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE certification tests are developed in workshops by a national panel of seasoned automotive industry professionals and executives, including working technicians, automobile manufacturers, aftermarket manufacturers, and educators. Exams are segmented by sub-specialty such as automobile, medium/heavy truck, truck equipment, school bus, collision repair, and more. There are 40-plus exams each designed to discern the automotive service technician’s knowledge of job-related skills. ASE technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and display credentials listing their exact area(s) of certification. 

VIP Tires & Service, based in Lewiston, Maine, operates 56 locations throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts providing retail and wholesale tire installation and professional automotive service. VIP is the place where New Englanders turn for everything they need to keep their vehicles running at peak performance. 

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