Press Releases

  • STUDENT REGISTRATION TOPS 1000 AT NEXT THREE COLLISION REPAIR EDUCATION FOUNDATION SPRING CAREER FAIRS

    March 7th, 2017  

    Collision industry employers will have large pool of trained students to interview at Career Fairs in San Diego, Calif, Houston and Dallas, Texas

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – March 8, 2017 – The Collision Repair Education Foundation announced that over 1000 students have registered for its next three Spring Career fairs being held in San Diego, Calif., Houston and Dallas, Texas during March.

    The first career fair is scheduled for tomorrow, March 9 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The career fair is being hosted by ProSpot International at its facility in Carlsbad, Calif. The event was scheduled in conjunction with the I-CAR Volunteer and Instructor Conference that will be held March 10-12 in La Jolla.

    “This is the second year for our Spring Career Fair schedule and students are responding in record numbers,” said Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode. “The Career Fairs are key components of the Foundation’s mission to support collision repair educational programs, schools, and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities. Also, this year we are working closely with ASE, having them invite their collision and automotive school program contacts to the events, which in some markets is nearly doubling last year’s attendance numbers.”

    Employers at collision repair facilities, insurance companies and suppliers will have the opportunity during the career fair to take employment applications and interview potential new employees who have participated in collision repair and automotive mechanical repair training programs.

    The remaining Spring Career Fair schedule is as follows

    Spring 2017 Initial Collision Career Fair
    • San Diego, CA – March 9th
    • Houston, TX – March 22nd
    • Dallas, TX – March 23rd
    • Phoenix, AZ – April 15th
    • Pittsburgh, PA – April 19th
    • St. Louis, MO – April 21st
    • Chicago, IL –May 2nd
    • Madison, WI – May 3rd
    • Denver, CO – May 8th
    • Nashville, TN – May 17th

    Collision repair facilities, insurance companies and suppliers interested in participating in these events should contact Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at 847.463.5244. The fall 2017 career fair locations and dates will be announced this summer.

  • COLLISION INDUSTRY PROVIDES OVER $12 MILLION TO SUPPORT SCHOOL PROGRAMS AND STUDENTS IN 2016

    March 1st, 2017  

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – February 27, 2017 – In 2016 the collision industry provided over $12 million in donations to high school and college collision school programs through the Collision Repair Education Foundation, an increase of over 13 percent from 2015. Over $60 million has been provided since 2008 when the Education Foundation began its philanthropic focus of assisting collision school programs and students.

    “In 2016 the Education Foundation made significant strides to help achieve its vision of a collision industry with a sufficient number of qualified, properly trained, and immediately productive entry-level employees to meet current and future Industry needs. Through the collision industry’s generous support we are able to deliver on our mission to support collision repair school programs and students to connect them with the array of careers opportunities across the industry,” said Clark Plucinski, Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director. “Working together as an industry ensures that the students graduate and are productive and efficient day one. Thank you for supporting our efforts as we are truly making a difference supporting schools and students across the country.”

    The Education Foundation continues to be recognized by Charity Navigator as a Four (out of Four) Star Charity, and returned eight-eight cents of every dollar donated towards supporting the school programs, instructors, and students in 2016.

    Stacy Bartnik, Collision Repair Education Foundation Board of Trustees Chair from ITW Evercoat said, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, staff and the collision school programs and students we were able to support, I would like to thank our 2016 donors. We had an incredible year that saw us clearly define our Vision and Mission and establish 16 collision career fairs across the U.S. that were attended by over 4000 students interested in entering the industry. In 2017, we have already developed a statement of need, in conjunction with our industry supporters, to clearly define the steps necessary to achieve our Vision. I would invite companies and individuals to join us in providing support.”

    For additional information about the Collision Repair Education Foundation, visit CollisionEducationFoundation.org. Inter-industry organizations and individuals who are interested in supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation in 2017 and increase the amount of assistance provided to collision schools and students should contact Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at Brandon.Eckenrode@ed‑foundation.org / 847.463.5244.

  • THERE IS STILL TIME TO SUPPORT MILITARY VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES THROUGH 3M AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET DIVISION AND COLLISION REPAIR EDUCATION FOUNDATION SECOND ANNUAL 3M HIRE OUR HEROES CALENDAR FUNDRAISER

    March 1st, 2017  

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – March 2, 2017 – There is still time to support military veterans and their families through the 3M Hire Our Heroes program and purchase the second annual 3M Hire Our Heroes Calendar for 2017. In partnership with the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division (AAD), the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) announced it has donated more than $750,000 since 2013 to be used toward scholarships and tool grants for more than 210 military veterans and their families through the 3M Hire Our Heroes program.

    Shops interested in participating in this program can acquire a 2017 Hire Our Heroes Calendar with a $200 donation online. (https://53713.thankyou4caring.org/2017-3m-calendar-campaign).

    In 2017, 3M AAD and CREF are marking the fifth year of the program, and continuing an innovative way for shops to get involved, both organizations will be facilitating the second annual 3M Hire Our Heroes Calendar for 2017. With the $200 donation, designated to the 3M Hire Our Heroes fund, shops not only give to a worthy cause, they will also receive the commemorative calendar which contains approximately $1,700 worth of monthly deals on 3M products. In 2016, this initiative raised $210,000 for scholarships and tool grants distributed to military veterans and their family members who are studying collision repair.

    Those who make a $200 donation will be able to take advantage of exclusive free product offers on a wide array of 3M products, such as the 3M™ PPS ™ Sun Gun™ II light kit, 3M™ Power Tools, 3M™ Masking Tape, 3M™ Cubitron™ II abrasives, and other 3M™ products. Plus this year a bonus offer has been added: When a shop participates in all 12 months of promotional offers, they will qualify to receive a sample of new products introduced by 3M AAD in 2018. The first 500 people to make the $200 donation will also receive, in addition to the calendars, a Hire Our Heroes replica hood designed by automotive designer Chip Foose.

    Each month, shops receive an email with the information they need to redeem the coupon for the free products, based on their qualifying purchases, and made on one invoice.

  • OVER $2 MILLION IN SOFTWARE SUBSCRIPTIONS DONATED TO SCHOOLS BY AUDATEX, A SOLERA COMPANY THROUGH THE COLLISION REPAIR EDUCATION FOUNDATION

    February 16th, 2017  

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – February 16, 2017 – Audatex, a Solera Company donated $2,309,580 in software subscriptions to collision schools across the United States in 2016 through a partnership with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF). Their program, Audatex Educational Institutions Program, has donated subscriptions of the company’s estimating software to more than 250 collision repair programs at schools in 40 states through its collaboration with CREF.

    Through the CREF and Audatex Educational Institutions Program partnership, eligible collision schools in North America can have access to Audatex Estimating with multi-user software licenses, online courses and training, a custom curriculum that offers CEUs and I-CAR points, and technical support, all at no charge. Training today’s students with the latest technology has the potential to benefit the industry in the long run.

    Don Mikrut, Vice President of Collision Repair Services at Audatex, said, “Audatex is proud to partner with the Collision Repair Education Foundation, an association that focuses on the education necessary to be successful in the collision industry. The collision repair industry requires a well-trained, skilled workforce to repair vehicles safely and efficiently, as well as adapt to the rapid pace of vehicle design and technology. In 2016, in partnership with CREF, Audatex made a commitment to provide our collision estimating solution to collision repair schools to provide them with access to state-of-the-art tools for collision repair estimating. CREF is an organization that our industry should rally behind to support as we need to ensure the proper education for students that look to our industry as a career.”

    Brandon Eckenrode, Director of Development for the Foundation said, “I would like to thank Audatex for their continued support of the industry’s future workforce. Their support enhances student success as young people start their career in the industry.”

    To qualify, technical and vocational schools in the USA and Canada that offer a collision repair program need to fill out the Educational Institutions Program Contact Form on the Audatex website, www.Audatex.us.

  • CCC DONATED MORE THAN $4 MILLION IN SOFTWARE SUBSCRIPTIONS TO COLLISION SCHOOLS IN 2016 THROUGH THE COLLISION REPAIR EDUCATION FOUNDATION

    February 16th, 2017  

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – February 16, 2017 – CCC Information Services Inc. (“CCC”), through its partnership with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (“CREF”), donated more than $4 million in software subscriptions to qualified secondary and post-secondary schools in 2016. CCC and CREF offer CCC ONE® Estimating software at no cost to technical schools and colleges that have a qualifying collision repair program.

    Student and teacher recipients of CCC ONE software learn how to write estimates while examining damaged vehicles. The software package includes access to collision repair databases, digital imaging capabilities, and CCC ONE® Touch, a mobile estimating solution designed exclusively for tablets.

    “Educating the next generation of collision repairers is critically important,” said Mary Jo Prigge, President, Service Operations, CCC. “CCC is proud to work with CREF to provide collision repair schools with the industry’s most advanced software, giving them an opportunity to learn with the tools they will encounter once they start their careers.”

    Brandon Eckenrode, Director of Development for the Foundation said, “I would like to thank CCC for their long-standing support of collision repair schools and students. Access to the latest information technology helps students succeed in the collision industry.”

    CCC Information Services Inc. has been providing software, workflow tools, and new technologies to collision repairers since it was founded in 1980.

  • MITCHELL INTERNATIONAL DONATED OVER $700,000 IN SOFTWARE SUBSCRIPTIONS TO COLLISION SCHOOLS IN 2016

    February 16th, 2017  

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – February 16, 2017 – In partnership with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), Mitchell International donated more than $700,000 in software to schools across the United States in 2016. Through this collaboration, thousands of students who were enrolled in qualified collision education programs learned with the same software as many professionals across North America and Europe. There is no cost to students or schools to use the software through this program.

    In addition to software, Mitchell sponsored collision student safety kits (work pants/shirts, dust masks, safety glasses, ear plugs) for 50 students at Cerritos College in Norwalk, Calif. and 14 students at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Shelbyville, Tenn.

    Mitchell has continually supported a hands-on collision repair education program that offers in-kind donations, including uniforms and estimating software. Not only does Mitchell software help to prepare the next generation of collision repair professionals, it also supports the Collision Repair Education Foundation mission in collecting important information about collision repair education programs.

    Debbie Day, EVP and General Manager – APD at Mitchell, said, “Repairer education has never been more important to the industry. Vehicles are more complex to repair than ever, and we at Mitchell believe technology will be critically important in addressing the changing landscape. CREF has a rich tradition of preparing students and Mitchell is proud to donate its software to schools and to partner with CREF in educating those interested in our industry.”

    Brandon Eckenrode, Director of Development for the Foundation said, “I would like to thank Mitchell International for their continued support of the industry’s pre-employment education system. Access to the latest technology during their training is a key driver of student success when they start their career in the collision industry.”

    The Collision Repair Education Foundation helps to connect collision repair programs at secondary and post-secondary technical schools and colleges across the country with software providers, like Mitchell. To qualify for the free software, qualifying schools need to fill out the Collision Repair Schools Solutions Survey, available on the Foundation website, www.collisioneducationfoundation.org. The survey is required once a year for a renewal of the software subscription.

    The Education Foundation uses the information gathered from the Collision Repair School Solutions Survey to track important details about school programs, key academic performance indicators, and crucial program needs for new tools and equipment necessary to train students for careers in today’s collision repair industry. The longitudinal survey enables the Foundation to understand the capabilities of schools as they evolve over time both in response to Collision Repair Education Foundation initiatives, local industry involvement with the school programs, as well as changes within the schools and the communities they serve.