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CTE Success Story: Auto repair business owner Jerry McNee was driven to succeed by Middlesex County Magnet Schools education

February 7, 2024

CTE Month Success Story: Jerry McNee Middlesex County Magnet Schools, Auto Collision Repair Technology Class of 1981 Using his own business, Ultimate Collision Repair, McNee often returns to his alma mater to share knowledge and opportunities with current Middlesex County students, hoping to ignite a passion for automotive repair.Jerry McNee’s business, Ultimate Collision Repair in Edison, has about 100 vehicles ranging from family compacts to high-end collector cars awaiting repairs. Recently, a Maserati and Lotus were on the floor, while a $800,000 electric Ferrari was parked out front, waiting its turn to be seen. The activity and excitement are clear signs that McNee’s business is thriving.

A 1981 graduate from the Auto Collision Repair Technology program at Piscataway Magnet School, one of the Middlesex County Magnet Schools, McNee says the education he received was his key to finding success.

Now, McNee hopes to ignite a passion for automotive repair in current Middlesex County students. He often returns to his alma mater to share information on the variety of opportunities available in his industry, including at his own business. McNee is a member of the Magnet Schools’ advisory board, invites students to visit his business, and hires many of the schools’ graduates.

“When I graduated, it was a whole different world,” said McNee. “Back then, you banged out and filled dents. Now there’s a new level of sophistication. Estimates are not a 15-minute job anymore.”

Electric cars have added to the complexity of the automotive repair industry, he said. In addition to dealing with steel, aluminum, rubber, plastic, and glass, automotive technicians now must know how to repair carbon fiber and replace computer sensors.

“The success of our career programs depends in large part on keeping up with trends and needs in the marketplace,” said Superintendent of Schools Jorge E. Diaz. “Alumni who are willing to engage with our students and to join our advisory committees are an invaluable asset.”

McNee points out that his employees include as many administrative personnel as technicians, including two of his three sons – Anthony, who draws blueprints for repairs, and Tyler, an accountant who works in the business office. Although Ultimate Collision Repair has a corporate structure, McNee insists on treating his employees as a family.

“He’s a graduate who knows the needs of the kids,” said Sam Lopez, Piscataway Magnet School’s Auto Collision Repair Technology instructor. “He has seen the industry change. His shop represents the 21st century of collision repair.”

Automotive technology is available at multiple Middlesex locations – Piscataway, Perth Amboy, and East Brunswick Magnet Schools.

Alumni Success Stories