Press Releases


    May 1st, 2017  

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – May 1, 2017 – The Collision Repair Education Foundation’s online database of high school and college resumes is accepting student resume submissions. Students who are seeking full time jobs, part time jobs, or internships in the industry are invited to submit a resume to the database online at before graduation.

    The database is a way for collision students, especially those who are unable to make it to CREF hosted career fairs, to submit their resumes to potential employers in the collision repair industry. At the end of each spring and fall semester, the database is open for students to add their information, and the information will be available to CREF donors for follow-ups and potential employment. The Foundation will work towards tracking the number of students hired by the industry.

    Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development, Brandon Eckenrode, said, “At the Collision Repair Education Foundation, our goal is to provide schools with the resources to educate a new generation of collision repair students and to put those students in touch with career opportunities in the industry. With our national student resume database capturing high school and college collision students who are looking for full-time, part time, or internship work within the industry, we will be continuing our efforts to be the industry’s bridge between technical education and industry employment. We look forward to reporting back on the success stories of students gaining employment and fulfilling the industry’s entry-level employment needs.”

    The spring 2017 Career Fair Schedule is also available, and it’s a way for students to submit their resumes to potential employers. The rest of the spring semester career fair consists of the following:
    • Chicago, IL on May 2
    • Madison, WI on May 3
    • St. Louis, MO on May 5
    • Denver, CO on May 8 (in conjunction with the Women’s Industry Network conference)
    • Nashville, TN on May 17

    Businesses interested in gaining access to the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Student Resume Database can do so and support the Foundation in its efforts to support collision repair students, teachers, and schools. Contact the Education Foundation Director of Development, Brandon Eckenrode at 847-463-5244 or


    April 18th, 2017  

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – April 14, 2017 – The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) is partnering with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) on the Cars, Careers & Celebrities event being held on September 15, 2017. This is CREF’s third year hosting the event, which last year brought together over 400 high school and college collision students from 10 states. CREF will work with ASE to open the event up to both collision and automotive repair students. Cars, Careers & Celebrities will take place at Chicagoland Speedway (Joliet, Ill.) on Friday, September 15th in conjunction with the first race in The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

    Hundreds of students from the Midwest and beyond are anticipated to attend. They will have the opportunity to meet industry employers, view product demonstrations, hold initial/mock interviews, potentially meet race car drivers, and more in the Chicagoland Speedway’s hospitality village area. There is no charge for high school and college automotive repair and collision students, instructors, and administrators to attend; however, pre-registration is required.

    CREF Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode noted, “This event serves as a great ‘back to school’ kick-off by connecting students with the industry. By collaborating with ASE and inviting both collision and automobile schools, there could be nearly 1,000 students in attendance and this will prove to be a great opportunity for businesses to meet the future professionals of the industry.

    “We are excited to join forces with the Collision Repair Education Foundation in reaching out to automotive repair and collision students to spread the word about all of the great opportunities that are available in this industry,” noted Trish Serratore, ASE Senior Vice President and President of NATEF/AYES.

    Companies interested in participating in the 2017 event should contact CREF Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at 847-463-5244.


    April 7th, 2017  

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – April 10, 2017- The Collision Repair Education Foundation announced it has recognized 121 schools with its new designation program called the “Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark” that was launched in 2016.

    Under the new program developed by the Foundation, schools were classified into three tiers:
    • Tier 1: Advanced,
    • Tier 2: Proficient, or
    • Tier 3: Developing.
    The designation was determined by the Foundation based upon information provided by schools about the capabilities of their program on the Collision Repair Education Makeover grant application.

    Last year, due to expanded financial and in-kind support from the industry, every school that completed an application received a grant to help them move to the next Tier or increase their capabilities. The program is currently accepting applications for 2017.

    In 2016, nine schools received a Tier 1 designation, 80 schools achieved Tier 2 and 31 schools achieved Tier 3.
    Schools are recognized at different levels based upon criteria that focus around the number of hours of instruction, curriculum in place, along with the tools, equipment, and supplies a school uses to prepare their students for employment in the collision industry.

    Participation in the Makeover grant program provides schools with necessary items to help them advance to higher levels and expand their programs to best serve students and the industry. The goal is to help every school acquire the resources to eventually achieve a Tier 1: Advanced school designation.

    “I want to congratulate all of the schools who participated in the Collision Repair Education Makeover grant program last year,” said Melissa Marscin, Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Grant Programs. “In 2015, the Foundation Board of Trustees refocused the Foundation’s mission to not only provide grants and donations, but also to bridging the employment gap for students to the collision industry. Creating this new designation program enabled the Foundation to focus our grants to those items each school needs that will ultimately benefit students training for a career in the industry.”

    A complete list of schools and their Tier designations is available below:
    Tier 1
    Aims Community College (Windsor, CO)
    Central Community College (Hastings, NE)
    Des Moines Area Community College (Ankeny, IA)
    Eastfield College (Mesquite, TX)
    Lex La-Ray Technical Center (Lexington, MO)
    New England Institute of Technology (Warwick, RI)
    Ranken Technical College (St. Louis, MO)
    Ridgewater College (Willmar, MN)
    Tennessee College of Applied Technology Livingston (Livingston, TN)

    Tier 2
    A.P. Brewer High School (Somerville, AL)
    Area 30 Career Center (Greencastle, IN)
    Athens Technical College (Athens, GA)
    Baker College Flint Michigan (Flint, MI)
    Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School (Charlton, MA)
    Bellingham Technical College (Bellingham, WA)
    Berks Career and Technology Center (Oley, PA)
    Cerritos College (Norwalk, CA)
    Chantilly Academy (Chantilly, VA)
    Chippewa Valley Technical College (Eau Claire, WI)
    Cleveland Community College (Shelby, NC)
    C.S. Monroe Technology Center (Leesburg, VA)
    College of Lake County (Grayslake, IL)
    Dennis Technical Education Center (Boise, ID)
    Dowell J Howard Center (Winchester, VA)
    Dunwoody College of Technology (Minneapolis, MN)
    Eden Career Technical Center (Ashville, AL)
    Ehove Career Center (Milan, OH)
    Erie 1 BOCES Kenton Career and Technical Center (Tonawanda, NY)
    Erie Community College South (Orchard Park, NY)
    Forbes Road Career and Technology Center (Monroeville, PA)
    Forsyth Technical Community College (Winston Salem, NC)
    Freedom High School (Freedom, WI)
    Ft. Hayes Career Center (Columbus, OH)
    Fayetteville Technical Community College (Fayetteville, NC)
    Greater Lawrence Technical School (Andover, MA)
    Greenville Technical College (Greenville, SC)
    GST BOCES Coopers Education Center (Painted Post, NY)
    Hennepin Technical College (Brooklyn Park, MN)
    Highland Community College (Freeport, IL)
    Hillsborough Community College (Tampa, FL)
    Holmes High School (San Antonio, TX)
    Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Northeast Region (Fort Wayne, IN)
    Kennedy King College (Chicago, IL)
    Kingwood Park High School (Kingwood, TX)
    Kishwaukee College (Malta, IL)
    Lake Career and Technical Center (Camdenton, MO)
    Lakeshore Technical College (Cleveland, WI)
    Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (Schnecksville, PA)
    Lewis and Clark Career Center (Saint Charles, MO)
    Live Oaks Career Campus (Milford, OH)
    Manatee Technical College (Brandenton, FL)
    Marshall Technical School (Guntersville, AL)
    Maxwell High School of Technology (Lawrenceville, GA)
    Mercer County Technical Education Center (Princeton, WV)
    Minot High School – Magic City Campus (Minot, ND)
    Morrisville State College (Morrisville, NY)
    Nichols Career Center (Jefferson City, MO)
    North Dakota State College of Science (Wahpton, ND)
    North Idaho College (Coeur d’Alene, ID)
    North Technical High School (Florissant, MO)
    Northern Neck Technical Center (Warsaw, VA)
    Oxford Hills Technical School (Norway, ME)
    Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School (Palmer, MA)
    Pulaski Technical College (North Little Rock, AR)
    Regional Career Technical Center (Ypsilanti, MI)
    Renton Technical College (Renton, WA)
    R.L. Turner High School (Carrollton, TX)
    San Benito High School (San Benito, TX)
    Seminole High School (Sanford, FL)
    Shelby County College and Career Center (Columbiana, AL)
    South Central College (North Mankato, MN)
    South Technical High School (Sunset Hills, MO)
    Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (Fennimore, WI)
    Springfield Clark Career Technology Center (Springfield, OH)
    Stanly Community College (Albemarle, NC)
    Steel Center Area Vocational Tech (Jefferson, PA)
    Susquehanna County Career Technology Center (Springville, PA)
    Tazewell County Career and Technical Center (Tazewell, VA)
    Tennessee College of Applied Technology (Chattanooga, TN)
    Tennessee College of Applied Technology (Knoxville, TN)
    Tennessee College of Applied Technology (Morristown, TN)
    Texarkana College (Texarkana, TX)
    Thomas A. Edison CTE High School (Jamaica, NY)
    Texas State Technical College (Waco, TX)
    University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (Morrilton, AR)
    Warren Tech (Lakewood, CO)
    Warrensburg Area Career Center (Warrensburg, MO)
    Washington County Joint Vocational School District (Marietta, OH)
    Wenatchee Valley Tech (Wenatchee, WA)

    Tier 3
    Academy for Careers and Technology (Mullins, SC)
    Atlanta Technical College (Atlanta, GA)
    Big Sandy Community and Technical College (Paintsville, KY)
    Career Center High School (Winston-Salem, NC)
    Central Louisiana Technical Community College (Alexandria, LA)
    Chester County Technical College High School Pennock’s Bridge Campus (West Grove, PA)
    Delcastle Technical High School (Wilmington, DE)
    Ellicottville Career and Technical Education Center (Ellicottville, NY)
    Lake Technical College (Eustis, FL)
    Lebanon Career and Technology Center (Lebanon, PA)
    Lenoir Community College (Kinston, NC)
    Livermore High School/Tri-Valley ROP (Livermore, CA)
    Marengo Community High School District 154 (Marengo, IL)
    Medford Vocational Technical High School (Medford, MA)
    Monroe 2 Orleans BOCES (Spencerport, NY)
    Moore Norman Technology Center (Norman, OK)
    Northern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center (New Kensington, PA)
    Norwalk High School (Norwalk, CA)
    Paul M. Hodgson Technical High School (Newark, DE)
    Portland Arts and Technology High School (Portland, ME)
    Rolla Technical Institute (Rolla, MO)
    Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (Billerica, MA)
    Silicon Valley Career Technical Education (San Jose, CA)
    Tennessee College of Applied Technology (Paris, TN)
    Tennessee College of Applied Technology (Shelbyville, TN)
    Technical College High School Pickering (Phoenixville, PA)
    Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology (Lancaster, PA)
    Tidewater Community College (Chesapeake, VA)
    United Technical Center (Clarksburg, WV)
    US Grant Career Center (Bethel, OH)
    Waite High School (Toledo, OH)


    April 7th, 2017  

    Hoffman Estates, IL– April 10, 2017 – Destiny Potter, a 2016 Lon Baudoux Legacy $2,000 Scholarship recipient, attended the recent I-CAR Volunteer & Instructor Conference in San Diego to highlight how much the financial support has assisted in her technical education. At the end of her presentation, Potter was surprised with the announcement that to recognize her continued efforts in gaining part-time industry employment while finishing her remaining year at Lincoln College of Technology in Indianapolis, her 2017 student debt would be “erased” through the Baudoux Legacy fund. In total, over $10,000 in student debt will be paid for Potter, who is on-track to graduate from Lincoln Tech this October.

    Destiny Potter, currently employed part-time with ABRA Auto Body & Glass, noted, “Being on stage in front of hundreds of people and to talk about the Lon Baudox Scholarship I won in 2016 was tremendous enough. But then for the Collision Repair Education Foundation to announce that they were paying my tuition just left me incredibly speechless. This means ‘no debt’ and ‘no stress.’ On a personal note, this also means that I am noticed, I am supported, and I am believed in. Who knew that something like this would happen to me?”

    “It’s incredible to see the real impact of the foundation in the lives of individual students,” says Peterson Santos, regional vice president at ABRA Auto Body & Glass. “We are honored to have Ms. Potter on our team and are especially grateful for the mentorship ABRA team member Rebecca Stultz has provided her throughout her journey. Ms. Potter’s future is bright and we are certain she will enjoy a long and successful career in the industry.”

    The Lon Baudoux Legacy Scholarship was created in memory of I-CAR Development Manager Lon Baudoux, who passed away in 2008. As Lon highly valued education and community service, this annual scholarship awards a high school senior who plans to continue their education in collision repair after graduation or a post-secondary student who will use the monies for education in collision repair. Applicants must be actively involved in activities outside of school. Individuals can support this fund by texting “LonB” to 4-1444 to be provided a link to make a tax-deductible donation.


    April 7th, 2017  

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – April 10, 2017- The Collision Repair Education Foundation announced today that Nationwide Insurance has made a $50,000 donation to assist the Education Foundation’s support of high school and college collision school programs across the country through school grants.

    Six schools were supported through these Nationwide school grants. The schools applied for the Education Foundation’s 2016 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant and these funds will help fulfill the schools collision program’s wish list of needed tools, equipment, and supplies. The Nationwide Insurance school grant recipients include:

    Eastfield College (Mesquite, TX)

    Tidewater Community College (Chesapeake, VA)

    Texas State Technical College (Waco, TX)
    North Idaho College (Coeur d’Alene)

    Hillsborough Community College (Tampa, FL)
    Cape Fear Community College (Wilmington, NC)

    “Nationwide recognizes the growing need for highly trained repair technicians,” said Patrick Burnett, Associate Vice President of Claims at Nationwide. “That’s why we’re proud to support organizations dedicated to training and developing tomorrow’s collision repair professionals.”

    Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Clark Plucinski noted, “On behalf of the collision school instructors and students that we serve, I would like to thank Nationwide Insurance for their continued support. Collision industry businesses across the country are seeking properly trained, entry-level collision students for employment and with Nationwide’s help; we are able to better assist instructors who are facing limited budgets and resources within their schools.”


    March 19th, 2017  

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – March 17th, 2017 – The Collision Repair Education Foundation is requesting the industry’s support of several upcoming fundraisers that are being organized by I-CAR volunteer committees. The I-CAR committees are made up of local industry members who volunteer their time to help support their local collision school programs. Funds raised at these events are reinvested into local collision school programs and help provide school grants, student scholarships, student uniforms, and more.

    Upcoming events include:
    • March 24th – Texas I-CAR Committee Coalition (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio) – Johnny Dickerson Memorial Golf Fundraiser in Dallas
    • April 26th – Atlanta I-CAR Committee Golf Fundraiser
    • May 4th – Indianapolis I-CAR Committee Golf Fundraiser
    • May 18th – Nashville I-CAR Committee Golf Fundraiser
    • May 18th – Memphis I-CAR Committee Golf Fundraiser
    • May 25th – Knoxville I-CAR Committee Golf Fundraiser

    Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode noted, “I cannot thank all the I-CAR volunteer committees and volunteers enough for their local efforts in volunteering their time to help raise additional funds and awareness for collision school programs. As the funds raised at these events are reinvested into local collision school programs and students, it allows us to work towards ensuring collision school programs have the funding needed to provide the best technical education possible. With the Education Foundation being a full-time staff of 5 and schools around the country needing support, it’s through these committees that we have a real opportunity to make a difference at the local level. I would ask the industry to please support these events so that more can be reinvested into local collision programs.”

    Industry members looking to support and participate in any of the local I-CAR volunteer committee events can contact Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at 847-463-5244 to be connected with event organizers.