Hoffman Estates, Ill. (March 8, 2021) –
The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) is excited to announce that GEICO has donated $30,000 to the Foundation’s COVID-19 School Recovery Fund. After donating $15,000 to the COVID School Recovery Fund in 2020, GEICO continued supporting the Foundation by donating $100,000 in 2021, with $15,000 reserved specifically for CREF’s COVID relief initiative.
Since the budgets of many collision programs have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, the Foundation is spreading the wealth – GEICO’s donation will be equally divided between six educational facilities to supplement their budgets, allowing them to enhance their students’ learning experience and elevate the caliber of their graduates.
“GEICO is focused on giving our customers a great experience from start to finish, and our support for the Collision Repair Education Foundation is an extension of that,” said D. Ryan West, GEICO assistant vice president of Florida claims. “This donation will help CREF develop trained, qualified repair professionals, enhance the repair industry, and provide career pathways for young people – all of which will greatly benefit our customers.”
The Foundation created the COVID-19 School Recovery Fund in April 2020 to encourage the industry to “save collision education.” Of the auto body trade schools surveyed, 45% reported budget cuts for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, and 65% confirmed budget cuts for the 2020-2021 school year due to the coronavirus. The programs’ inability to purchase the tools, equipment, consumables and safety items needed to effectively educate their students could produce a detriment for the industry, which already struggles with a shortage of qualified collision repair technicians.
GEICO’s COVID-19 School Recovery Fund donation secured $5,000 grants for six schools:
· Lake Technical College (Eustis, FL)
· Honolulu Community College (Honolulu, HI)
· Walker High School (Walker, LA)
· Oxford Hills Technical School/Maine Vocational Region 11 (Norway, ME)
· Mid-Del Technology Center (Midwest City, OK)
· Mercer County Technical Education Center (Princeton, WV)
Eligibility for these awards was achieved by applying for the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s 2020 Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark Grant. The Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark Grants recognize schools that excel at educating students in collision repair, but due to strained school budgets, the programs require additional financial assistance. Recipient schools use these funds to provide the tools, equipment and supplies necessary to enhance their students’ learning experience and elevate the caliber of their graduates, ensuring that graduates are prepared to successfully enter the workforce upon graduation. Applications for the 2021 Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark Grants will be available online in March 2021.
Industry members interested in supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs should contact Brandon Eckenrode, Director of Development, at 312-231-0258 or Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org. Monetary donations can be made online.
The Collision Repair Education Foundation, founded in 1991, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting collision repair educational programs, schools, and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities. For information on how to donate to programs supported by the Education Foundation, visit us online at: www.CollisionEducationFoundation.org. GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 28 million vehicles in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, GEICO employs more than 43,000 associates countrywide. GEICO constantly strives to make lives better by protecting people against unexpected events while saving them money and providing an outstanding customer experience. Along with personal auto insurance, commercial auto and personal umbrella coverages are also available. Homeowners, renters, condo, flood, identity theft, term life, and more coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Visit geico.com for a quote or to learn more.
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