For Josh Hudson, Entrepreneurship is a Driving Force

Published on: July 12, 2019
Josh Hudson (’12) earned his associate degree in Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology from GTCC. After a few years working in the industry, he started his own company, Hudson Autoworks. Photo: Carrie Lilly

“I’m passionate about the trade and the craft. I want to be the best and inspire others to go after their dreams,” says Josh Hudson, a GTCC graduate who owns and operates Greensboro-based Hudson Autoworks. Hudson earned his associate degree in Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology from GTCC in 2012. 

Josh grew up in a car family. He recalls painting tractor parts in the shop behind his grandfather’s house when he was 8 years old. Yet entering the automotive industry wasn’t immediately on his radar during high school. Hudson was planning to attend a four-year university and pursue a career in electrical engineering when a chance encounter at a local body shop reignited his passion for cars.

“Over spring break, I was getting one of my cars ready for paint,” he says. “As I’m watching the guys paint my car, I immediately got hooked again.”

Hudson ultimately changed course after evaluating his options. He knew attending Guilford Technical Community College’s Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology program would be more affordable than a four-year program and the average wage autobody technicians earned appealed to him.

He enrolled in the program and credits the instructors and the curriculum for preparing him to work in the fast-paced automotive industry.

“They build a great foundation at GTCC. We did tons and tons of painting and it really prepared me for the real world,” he said. “GTCC Instructor Jim Brown is like a second dad to me, and Josh Baker is like a brother to me. We are family.”

Josh graduated from the program in 2012 and immediately set his sights on learning from the best. He joined the ranks of a premier auto body shop in the Triad. At 19, he was the youngest technician in the building.

 “The manager asked me if I could keep up,” recalls Hudson. “I obsessed over being the best at my craft.”

He didn’t stop there. Hudson had an even bigger goal. “I wanted to start my own business,” he says.

While working full time, he started Hudson Auto Works in 2015 and spent his evenings devoted to growing his fledgling business. “I worked 15 hours days every day. I told myself I’d give it six months. After six months, I would be making progress or not,” he added.

Once he gained confidence in his business model, Hudson went all in on his business and never looked back. As he sits outside the first building he leased, Hudson recalls how incredibly challenging it was to get the business up and running.

“I remember how hard it was being by myself. I didn’t take a paycheck for two years,” he added, opting to invest every penny into his new company. “When you are in business for yourself, there’s no such thing as perfecting it. It is very, very hard and I like that.”

 To protect his company from downcycles, Josh expanded his business to include detail services and auto sales. The work keeps him and 13 other employees busy and he has been able to hire other graduates of GTCC’s program.

“Everyone should know the capability of that program. There’s a huge need for GTCC’s program,” says the 26-year-old entrepreneur. “I want to hire people who want to be the best.”

He recently purchased a larger, 15,000 square foot facility to accommodate his growing enterprise. He says the sky’s the limit if you are willing to be patient.

“Great things take time. If you are really passionate about something, focus on being the best. With hard work, you can go anywhere. The sky’s the limit. It’s just a matter of how badly you want it, but understand that it takes time to build things. You have to keep your head down and work hard,” he shared. 

GTCC’s Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology program trains students on state-of-the-art equipment, industry-endorsed I-CAR curriculum. For more information about the program, click here.

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