The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) is excited to announce that General Motors has provided a $100,000 grant in support of the Foundation’s Career Opportunity Awareness Initiative, which focuses on highlighting the collision repair industry as a viable and valuable career to school counselors, educators, parents, and other influencers. The funding will be used to generate awareness with school counselors at the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) Conference, to distribute Collision Career Path banners to Benchmark Grant applicant schools, and to create a series of video resources to prepare students to embark on their first job in the industry.
“The image of a career in collision is often misunderstood and narrow in scope,” explains Amber Ritter, director of marketing and project management for the Foundation. “The amount of technology needed to repair these vehicles, as well as the vast number of related fields, is often not showcased to influencers. Instead, many often see dirty, dead-end jobs only for those who can’t make it in a ‘traditional’ route. The funds from this grant will allow us to showcase the multitude of opportunities and career pathways available, and we’ll also be able to highlight what it means to join the collision industry as a profession.”
GM awards philanthropic grants as part of its efforts to support programs and initiatives that are in alignment with its corporate focus areas, including STEM education, vehicle and road safety, and community development. The initial grant funding from GM was used to host a series of virtual career fairs, to conduct instructor workshops, and to create a series of videos highlighting the variety of career opportunities in the collision repair industry.
“GM is proud to support CREF as they work to increase awareness around careers in the collision repair industry,” said Hal Garling, senior manager of Corporate Grantmaking at GM. “As a new generation of students prepare to enter the workforce, we recognize the importance of highlighting career opportunities and connecting students with resources to develop industry-relevant skills to help obtain and sustain employment.”
The Career Opportunity Awareness Initiative furthers CREF’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,” by raising awareness of the variety of career options associated with collision repair and by helping prepare students to successfully begin their career. Using the grant funding from GM, the Foundation will create and disseminate educational videos to help students prepare for obtaining jobs in the industry and finding success in their future careers, in addition to distributing banners to schools around the country to showcase the multitude of career options available within collision repair. CREF will also educate school counselors on the plethora of industry opportunities during the ASCA Conference, scheduled for July 9-12, 2022, in Austin, Texas, where the Foundation will sponsor the closing keynote session in addition to being a Diamond level sponsor.
“The American School Counselor Association appreciates the Collison Repair Education Foundation’s support of school counselors, and this conference sponsorship will help ASCA further serve and advocate for the profession,” said Jill Cook, ASCA Executive Director.
Industry members interested in getting involved and 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.
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