Performance & Hotrod Business May '14

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May 2014 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 87 Once they learn cutting material they move on to basic sewing competencies. First, they will be sewing two 3-by-9-inch pieces of material together with a perfect 1/2-inch seam allowance and 3/8-inch back- stitches on both ends. This first competency assessment ("comp") is very important be- cause it gives the student a firm understand- ing of what is expected of them as they start into their other comps. The student will learn how to sew a single, reinforced seam, a double, reinforced seam, sew welting onto material and single rein- force it. Once they have completed these ba- sic seams, they move on to sewing welting to a corner with boxing on it. This will set them up for starting more ad- vanced comps. One important factor that goes into all of these basic seam designs is accuracy. The instructors are very particular about the work being accurate and precise and they do not allow a student to move on unless they complete the basics. The next comps get more advanced and require the students to learn how to lay out pleats, boxing and collars. Once they master how to lay out material and cut foam, then they will sew a small mock-up seat with no pleats but with boxing. The student will then add a pleated insert with collars and boxing to the next mock-up seat. Once that is completed, the student will learn how to lay out diamonds and sew them properly. Now we all know that diamonds are not as popular as they once were, but the concept behind this exercise is to give the students practice on laying out different de- signs. The student, after learning diamonds, will then be required to use them as an insert in their mock-up seat. The student will also learn how to sew tuck-and-roll pleats using two different styles that are used in the in- dustry. Then it's on to their biggest challenge, which is completely sewing new covers for a bucket seat. Students are taught about each compe- tency exercise through lecture, and they take written tests on the information they learn. In addition to the time spent on the sew- ing machine, there is a lecture and hands-on demonstration outlining each of the compe- tencies as they progress through the program. Once the student is ready to work on the bucket seats, they have completed the first six weeks of their 12-week program. Each six weeks ends with a final exam and the students are required to have completed all of their comps up to the bucket seat and passed the written portion with a 70-percent score or higher before moving on to Phase Two. Learn And Live Phase Two is made up of completing their bucket seats; they pat- tern the top of the seat using the actual cover and pattern the seat bottom from scratch. The seat design must be completed accurately before the instructor will pass the student in this comp. Once the seat is completed to the instructor's satisfaction, the collar of the seat is cut and the student needs to perform a seat repair replac- ing the torn piece. By the end of the bucket seat comp, the student has been working on sewing for at least seven to eight weeks, eight hours a day, five days a week. Phase Two comps include learning how to sew binding on carpet, sewing a sun visor and using a button machine. The student will learn door panel design and will get to make a custom door panel from scratch. There will also be lectures on convertible top installations, the basics of vinyl top installations and how to repair and install both one-piece and bow-style headliners. The instructors also show the students how to install a basic external slider sunroof. By this time in the student's 12-week program, they are ready to "spread their wings" a little and are able to do real work, or what is referred to as "live work." The students love this time because they can bring projects in of their own. The school also has projects to work on if a student requests. Live work projects will take them to the end of their 12-week program. The students who complete this 12-week program have worked very hard to get there. As those in the industry know, this is hard work and not everyone is cut out to be a trimmer. What WyoTech's Trim and Upholstery Technology program is de- signed to do is to provide a well-rounded, entry-level student employee who can work in the industry. Catching that next rising star can be a difficult task, but WyoTech is helping the industry by providing training to students to help them to become those next rising stars. For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important informa- tion, please visit our website at Employment is not guaranteed, but career services help is available for graduates. Harry Weimann is the director of operations at WyoTech Blairsville in Blairsville, Pa. He has been in the trim indus- try since 1980 and has owned Weimann's Interiors in Del- mont, Pa., with his wife since 1986. He can be reached at Students learn the basics of all types of automotive work and become familiar with the shop environment. PHBMAYp58-91.indd 87 4/2/14 2:09 PM

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