“Ranken really solidified me as a technician. I was a self-trained car enthusiast. The education I received at Ranken made me a professional technician and took my skills to the next level. The training Ranken gave me has allowed me to provide a good and comfortable living for my wife and daughter,” says Travis Oliver. Travis graduated in 2006 from Ranken’s Collision Repair Technology program. He is currently the Head Painter at American Automotive, St. Louis.
Tim Clark, Owner, American Automotive, tells us, “I have had the pleasure of working with Travis for a long time. The dictionary defines superlatives as: of the highest kind, quality, or order, surpassing all else, or others, supreme. When it comes to his work and who he is as a husband and father, as well as a coworker, that definition stands true. We are lucky to have him.” Tim has owned and operated American Automotive for more than 35 years. The company is a 4th generation-owned collision center.
Travis had the honor of being selected by Dan-Am Company, the exclusive distributor of SATA spray paint guns in the United States, to spend 10 days in Stuttgart, Germany (SATA’s headquarters) on an all-expense-paid trip to tour the factory, gain training, and explore Germany. He says, “It was a trio of a lifetime and very few painters earn this opportunity.”
John Helterbrand, former Department Chair of Automotive Collision, recalls Travis coming into the program, as many students do, thinking that customizing and restoring cars was his dream. “I saw Travis reexamine those ambitions as he realized his talents and abilities in collision and refinishing. I believe Travis is one of the best refinishers in St. Louis. I recruited him to teach evening school for Ranken’s collision program post-graduation.”
I remember a time when I was struggling with aluminum welding and passing my ICAR certification test. Mr. Helterbrand gave up a Saturday to train with me, one-on-one, to sharpen my skills. I am very grateful for his dedication to see me succeed.”