David “DJ” Fors
Hometown: Lunenburg, Mass.
Representing the United States at WorldSkills in Auto Body Repair
Working on “essentially anything with a motor” from a very young age, DJ Fors has been fixing cars for years with the help of his father and a family friend. “A good friend of my father was a master tech at a dealership and ran the repair shop in a local high school. I was always at his house working on cars, trucks, snowmobiles – you name it, we’d fix it. Or at least we aren’t afraid to rip into it.”
When he was just ten years old, DJ started fully restoring a ‘68 Ford Mustang. “I enjoy looking back at the photos of the work that was done. I will never forget rebuilding the motor that we were putting in the car. I remember using feeler gauges to check tolerances of the main bearings, as well as painting the motor a nice Ford blue when it was all together.”
DJ’s passion is to remain in the industry, building and having a hand in projects. “I enjoy the challenge it gives me. Every collision and dent is different. Each car tells a different story.”
DJ has been working at Aldrich Auto Body since his junior year of high school and plans on getting his commercial driver’s license after competing in WorldSkills. He wants to move up the ranks in the body shop and also get an education from a four-year college or university.
“Being chosen to represent the United States in the WorldSkills competition is an honor, as well as a great accomplishment. To compete against other countries’ elite tradesmen and women is a once in a lifetime event. It is truly an amazing opportunity.”
On being involved with SkillsUSA:
“There is a lot to be gained from SkillsUSA. Personally, I have gained new outlooks on life from around the country by interacting with the other competitors. It is also a great place to immerse yourself in new things and learn about trades you may not have known about. Overall, it was a great and positive experience.”
On what he loves most about his skill:
“Whether a fifty-ton tri-axle Peterbilt heavy duty wrecker or a ’68 Mustang coupe, the hours of time and effort put in to building one thing is so rewarding. The beauty of the finished products, the showroom shine, the whistle of the turbo or even the thunderous roar of the horses under the hood – this is what inspires me to be and remain in the automotive industry.”
His advice to someone wanting to train in auto body repair:
“I hope you enjoy sanding, and I hope you love cars! Almost every step in the collision repair process involves sanding or scuffing. Ultimately, you will have to put work into it to get better at it, as with most things. But you do it because you are passionate about cars.”