HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – August 14, 2011- Ralph Gilles, President and Chief Executive Officer – SRT Brand and Motorsports and Senior Vice President – Product Design, Chrysler Group LLC, will be joining the Collision Repair Education Foundation in announcing the 2011 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover $50,000 school grant winner during SEMA. The Makeover school grant honors a high-performing school that has been doing an outstanding job in educating students in collision repair, but is in need of financial assistance to improve their program’s teaching materials and equipment.
“I applaud the work the Collision Repair Education Foundation is doing to help fund and further educate prospects in the collision business,” said Gilles. “With the many challenges facing students throughout the automotive industry today, the need for well-trained, passionate and reliable employees is never going away, and its grants like this one that can make a significant difference in the lives of promising students and allow them the ability to earn a good living.”
Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Scott Kruger noted, “We would like to thank Mr. Gilles in joining the Education Foundation in announcing our 2011 Makeover winner during SEMA this fall. Secondary and post-secondary collision students are the industry’s future professionals and are in need of educational support. As each Makeover applicant school is required to provide an itemized $50,000 wish list, we not only fulfill the winning school’s $50,000 wish list but we can approach companies about assisting the other schools as well. We welcome Mr. Gilles’ support and look forward to announcing the 2011 Makeover winner this fall with him.”
The Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant debuted in 2009 when Steel Center Area Vocational Technical School (Jefferson Hills, PA) was chosen as the recipient of the award. In addition to Steel Center AVTS receiving $80,000 from the award, the schools that applied for the 2009 grant still benefited from the Ultimate Collision Education Makeover program. In total, the 35 schools each received an average of $5,000 in products, supplies, and equipment for a total value over $175,000. Every school that applied for the grant received at least one item to benefit their students and collision program. In 2010, the award went to Bridgerland Applied Technology College (Logan, UT). Through the generous support of industry members, Bridgerland’s collision program is on track to receive over $100,000 in donated tools, equipment, and supplies.
School’s collision programs can download the Makeover application from the Education Foundation’s web site at www.CollisionEducationFoundation.org and must be postmarked by August 31, 2011. The Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant and other collision student and school support opportunities provided by the Collision Repair Education Foundation are made possible through industry donations. Companies and individuals interested in getting involved with the Foundation and joining its efforts to support the future of the collision industry, please contact Foundation Associate Director of Development, Brandon Eckenrode at 847.463.5244 or