Hoffman Estates, IL – September 19, 2014 – The collision industry came together on August 16th in Dallas, Texas during the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s inaugural Cars, Careers & Celebrities Expo to elevate awareness for local high school and college collision students. The event raised over $300,000 for this group and ended up being the largest fundraiser in the Education Foundation’s history. These funds will be used to provide additional student scholarships, tool/equipment grants, and instructor support to help ensure graduating students are ready for employment within the industry.
Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Clark Plucinski noted, “I believe this event will be seen as a significant milestone in the Education Foundation’s history as it will be the first major effort for the organization to expand out from not only providing support to the future professionals of the industry but also helping to connect students with industry employers. I would like to extend my thanks to not only all of our event sponsors and volunteers but also the entire Van Tuyl Group staff who shut down their 55,000 square foot Team Vandergriff repair facility and made this event possible. We look forward to following up with participating expo industry businesses and assisting with fulfilling their entry-level employment needs with the hope that we can expand this type of event across the country.”
Van Tuyl Group National Collision Director Darren Huggins and Cars, Careers & Celebrities Expo host, noted, “The Van Tuyl Group was honored to work in partnership with our friends at the Collision Repair Education Foundation to host this industry event for collision repair students nationwide. These up and coming professionals are our future. Anything we can do to support, encourage, and facilitate their involvement with other industry professionals is simply our way of giving back and ensuring longevity and sustainability for the industry we love. Giving up 3 days of production at one of our facilities was a sacrifice, but also a small price to pay for the great sponsor involvement and awareness the event brought to the students that attended. We are proud of and thankful to all the sponsors who put their competitive ‘industry hats’ aside to come together in such great collaboration. Thank you to everyone who participated.”
South Garland High School Auto Collision Repair Technology Craig Baughman said, “It is one thing when your teach tells you that you can have a future in the collision industry, but when an industry professional walks up and hands you their business card and says ‘come see me’, the students know it is for real. This event has given my students a vision for what their future can lookin like if they will work hard to become exceptional.”
Both Charley Hutton of Charley Hutton’s Color Studio and KC Mathieu of Gas Monkey Garage attended the event and spent time with the attending collision students. This event would not be possible without the generous support of industry sponsors:
• Diamond Level Sponsors ($25,000): 3M, AudaExplore/Hollander, Chief Automotive Technologies, Dent Zone/PDR Links, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hertz, PPG Automotive Refinish, Pro Spot, Service King Collision Repair Centers, and Van Tuyl Group.
• Gold Level Sponsors ($10,000): 1-800 Radiator, ABRA Auto Body & Glass, Caliber Collision, English Color/Equipment, Garmat USA, and Gerber Collision & Glass.
• Silver Sponsors ($5000): AkzoNobel, FinishMaster Inc., Single Source, and TenPoint Complete
• Bronze Sponsors ($2500): AAMStraining.com, Axalta Coatings, Car-O-Liner, Car-Part.com, CCC Information Services, Clip Lizard, GEICO, Goliath Carts, Herb’s Paint & Body, Innovative Tools, Kaeser Compressors, Kent Automotive, LKQ Corp., Matrix Wand 3D Blueprinting, National Autobody Parts, NITROHEAT, Overall Parts Solutions, Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes, TOFF Sprayed-On Bedliners, Wheel Technologies, and Zak/Nexemo.
• Friends of the Foundation: Assured Performance, Automotive Service Association (ASA), Ben’s Paint Supply, Color Vision, Fayetteville Technical Community College, I-CAR, My Repair Tracker, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, Society of Collision Repair Specialists, USAA Insurance, and Women’s Industry Network (WIN).
Questions about the event can be directed to Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at 847-463-5244.