Submitted By: Eden Area ROP

Student Background

Amado Valenzuela was a two-year student at Eden Area ROP,studying auto body refinishing, where he excelled in auto painting. Amado was the type of student that no matter what you asked him to do he would do his best and rally the other students around him to get the job done, earning him the distinction of Student the Year (2011). After Amado graduated high school, he asked his teacher if the teacher could connect him with Tesla Motors. The teacher was able to get Amado an interview, but Tesla didn’t hire him. When Tesla called the teacher asking him to send more students to interview, the teacher advocated for Amado, saying he would be a great employee. Tesla reconsidered and hired Amado.

Program Description

The Automotive Refinishing and Painting program is designed to provide students with skills and hands-on instruction in the auto body industry. The course focuses on learning shop safety, metal repair, pick and fill, welding, cutting, panel replacement, and trade ethics. Students also learn surface preparation, painting and detailing skills, project planning, team work, airbrush art design, and estimating. The class uses the latest water based painting system by PPG. As the law for greener paint systems became a requirement in 2010, this water-based system is the latest technology that students can learn to use and prepare for the auto refinishing and painting industry.


Not only did Amado learn the importance of workplace ethics and skills, but he was prepared him for the real world of work. Participation in this program helped him to be more responsible, improve his GPA and provided him with entry level job skills. When Amado graduated high school, he started working for Tesla and has been there for two years. He paints cars in the areas in which the robots cannot reach. He thanks his teacher for not giving up on him and helping him get this job.