The Collision Repair Education Foundation announced more than $500,000 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grants supported by donations from industry companies and local I-CAR committee fundraising activities. The announcement came during the foundation’s annual reception held Oct. 30 at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel during the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
The Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grants announced will go to help improve 173 schools in 37 states with more than 6,700 students enrolled in collision repair training programs.
The makeover grant program incorporates the foundation’s Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark that the foundation launched in 2016. Under the new program developed by the foundation, schools are classified into three tiers based upon criteria including the number of hours of instruction and curriculum in place, along with what tools, equipment and supplies a school uses to prepare their students for employment in the collision industry.
The grants awarded will assist schools to advance to the next tier, or to allow top tier schools to further expand their program’s capabilities.
“Collision repair training programs are facing tremendous budgetary pressure,” said Melissa Marscin, director of operations/administration for the foundation. “It is difficult for many to maintain their program at current capabilities, no less invest in increasing their abilities to satisfy the industry’s current and future workforce needs. The makeover grant program is designed to help collision schools get the much needed tools, equipment and supplies they couldn’t get otherwise and increase their capabilities. For the third year in a row, every school that applied received some level of support through both grants and in-kind donations.”
Collision repair facilities, insurance companies and suppliers interested in supporting school grants should contact Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at (312) 231-0258 or Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org.