2016 Program Now Underway


Sustainability Challenge Grant


New for 2016: Submit Your Application as part of the Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Grant


Enter to win a grant to make your school’s collision repair shop more sustainable. From recycling paper to reducing your carbon footprint to reinventing a process, opportunities to create a greener school and more sustainable community are endless.



Are you ready for the challenge?


Sustainability: it’s thinking about the world in terms of the future, finding ways to go about everyday activities that consider people and the planet, while allowing businesses to make a profit so they can provide jobs, products, and services.


In the collision repair industry, sustainable practices are essential to our survival. We must seek ways of doing business that are safer, more efficient, save time and money, conserve resources, and develop the talents of our people.


Now in its third year, the Sustainability Challenge Grant aims to jumpstart awareness and innovation among students who are aspiring to a career in collision repair and the educators who inspire them. The grant is sponsored by AkzoNobel, a worldwide leader in coatings manufacturing as well as the advancement of sustainability, and administered in collaboration with the Collision Repair Education Foundation.


Transformation through education


Grants are being offered to secondary and post-secondary schools with collision repair education programs. Students and educators are invited to form teams and submit their proposals for applying continuous improvement and sustainable business principles.


Qualifying proposals will demonstrate how the project improves processes in the school’s body shop (for example, by reducing, recycling or reusing materials), or improve the way the shop interacts and impacts the community (for example, by focusing on people, planet and profits).


Awards of up to $10,000 will be presented to selected schools in Fall 2016 for the implementation of creative, practical, and impactful ideas that advance sustainability within the collision repair shop and its surroundings. Instructors will have the opportunity to nominate students for exceptional leadership; selected students will receive special recognition.


If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Marscin, Education Foundation Director of Grant Programs, at melissa.marscin@ed-foundation.org or 847-463-5282.


2015 Sustainability Challenge Grant Winners


Applied Technology Center (Rock Hill, SC)

Central Nine Career Center (Greenwood, IN)

Freedom High School (Freedom, WI)

Norwalk High School (Norwalk, CA)

Olathe Advanced Technical Center (Olathe, KS)

Springfield Clark Career Center (Springfield, OH)

Thomas Edison CTE High School (Jamaica, NY)

Walla Walla Community College (Walla Walla, WA)


2015 Sustainability Challenge Grant Outstanding Students


Hunter Brakefield, Applied Technology Center (Rock Hill, SC)

Cesar Mercado, Walla Walla Community College (Walla Walla, WA)

Angel Myers, Norwalk High School (Norwalk, CA)

Nicholas Shah, Thomas A. Edison High School (Jamaica, NY)

Evan Vail, Applied Technology Center (Rock Hill, SC)

Cole Woods, Freedom High School (Freedom, WI)


2014 Sustainability Challenge Grant Winners


Applied Technology Center (Rock Hill, SC)

Cerritos College (Norwalk, CA)

Gaithersburg High School (Gaithersburg, MD)

Manhattan Area Tech College (Manhattan, KS)

Northern Maine Community College (Presque Isle, ME)


2014 Sustainability Challenge Grant Outstanding Students


Tyler Huizenga, Northwest Iowa Community College (Sheldon, IA)

Evan Vail, Applied Technology Center (Rock Hill, SC)

How can my school qualify for a grant?


  1. Focus on the collision repair shop at your school.
  2. Form a team(s) of students plus a faculty advisor/mentor.
  3. Demonstrate your idea for advancing sustainability, either within the body shop, how it interacts with the environment, or within its community.
  4. Your application should provide information about the school, establish need, funds required, and estimate measurable results.


What are the important dates?


  • AVAILABLE NOW. View an introductory webinar designed to help collision repair instructors learn more about sustainability, how to re-examine systems and processes, and how to apply for a Sustainability Education Challenge Grant. View the Webinar here!
  • Start talking with your students to plan your project proposal now. See training & learning resources below.
  • Applications due June 3.
  • November. Winners announced.
  • November – May. Implement project.
  • May 2017. Submit report of project results


How can I learn more?


The more you know about sustainability and its principles, the easier it is to find ways to improve and make a positive impact on our environment.


Check back often to find additional resources to help instructors encourage students to look at collision repair processes in a whole new way.