THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business - May '15

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May 2015 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 45 ability, you have to give them the freedom to move around as they need to. It's hard to find them, but once I do, they're fantastic." Pelletier says once an employee makes it through the first 90 days, he or she usually sticks around for five to seven years. "The first 90 days weeds out the wan- nabes, tire kickers, people that say they're skilled and really aren't, and body techs that say they want to do restoration but realize they can't keep up with us or the quality of work," he says. Offering variety and a comfortable working environment is also effective. "If they get strung out on a job, I'll let them step out of there and work on some- thing else to clear their heads for a bit and come back to it," Pelletier says. "They're not doing the same thing over and over." As for a comfortable work environ- ment, Camaros Plus' new building has infrared heat, which warms the concrete floors, cars and everything in between, full stereo surround sound and a state-of-the- art sprinkler system. Pelletier also purchased a brand-new, full-blown heated downdraft paint booth for the new building. No matter what temperature it is in the shop, the booth maintains consistent heat because it has a burner that pulls in, warms, filters and cycles cold air from inside the shop. The consistently warm temperatures facilitate a quicker drying time for painted cars and increases efficiency. Master Colorist He may not admit it, but Pelletier is quite the artist himself. Restoring his own car in high school led to a body shop career in New Jersey, where he learned to do body, prep and paint work. And Pelletier has always been interested in painting. "I used to paint models as a kid," Pelletier says. "It's always been an interest for me to see the paint go on, make it shine and figure out how to get colors to do what you want. I can do the body work and the welding, but I love going into the booth." Pelletier earned much of his expertise and technique during his career as sales representatives for manufacturers like BASF, Sikkens and House of Kolor. His skills, which include how to make colors move effectively, selecting pigments and toners, and doctoring factory colors to look cleaner and more vibrant, have earned Camaros Plus a reputation as a true paint specialist. 'No Ego Here' Whether the customer is seeking a paint job or full restoration, Camaros Plus main- tains an open-shop format, which means customers can come in at any given point to see their cars. "It's very personal for them," Pelletier says." Most people have waited 20 to 30 years to build a car. For us, it's just paint- Camaros Plus' growth is limited to the ability to find good employees, Pelletier says. And once one comes along, he strives to keep them on the team.

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