This summer, young automotive refinishing students from Nagoya, Japan’s Toyota Technical College were given an opportunity to perfect their refinishing skills in a special immersion-style study program. Approximately 40 students from Toyota Technical College (TTCN) in Nagoya, Japan attended Okanagan College in Kelowna to work one-on-one with industry experts and advance their auto body and refinishing skills. Over the course of the four-week program the students were provided with R-M Onyx paint and other required materials, along with detailed instruction on advanced and custom paint techniques.

While in Canada, the students were given the opportunity to live with local families, giving them an opportunity to work on their English skills and gain a first-hand experience in Canadian culture. Each student even received their own fender to paint and take back home to Japan with them, decorating them with vibrant colours and individually unique designs.

BASF has been a long-time supporter of the program, providing all the required materials and paint for the students to learn and get creative with. Company representatives Tim Brilz and Michael Kukura participate in the program every year, helping students master application methods that they might not have the opportunity to learn in their home country. It also allows them to mentor students while preparing them for the job market once they graduate from their program at TTCN. BASF’s summer program is so popular that, five years ago, BASF had to add an additional two days of custom painting to the end of the four weeks to ensure each student gets the proper attention.

“BASF is honoured to have been provided with the opportunity by instructor John Euloth and Okanogan College to work with the Toyota students over the past several years,” said Trista Anger, regional business manager for BASF Refinish Canada. “This annual event presents an extremely unique opportunity for not only refinish training but also cultural exchange and interaction. We look forward to many years of continued support and success for the program.”


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