Hoffman Estates, Ill. (June 9, 2023) –
Since the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) was founded in 1991, the organization has worked closely with I-CAR to support collision repair educational programs, schools and students, to create qualified, entry-level employees and to connect them with an array of career opportunities. I-CAR and its team champions CREF’s efforts in a number of ways, including through the avid work of I-CAR’s Volunteers and Committees which support the Foundation’s initiatives by engaging with schools, coordinating local fundraisers, sponsoring uniforms and more to benefit their local collision school programs.
During I-CAR’s recent Zone Meetings, CREF honored 20 I-CAR Committees for their dedication to the industry’s future in 2022 and their outstanding local fundraising efforts to support collision school programs in the area! CREF Executive Director Brandon Eckenrode attended all three events to recognize each committee that held a fundraiser event in their local market to benefit local schools and also to accept I-CAR’s generous 2022 donation, a check for $240,000.
“Among CREF’s many initiatives to support collision repair educational programs, schools, and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities, the Foundation also works directly with entities like I-CAR to facilitate the industry’s generosity. I-CAR – both through the work of its direct staff team and through the volunteer work of its committees which are comprised of professionals from across the industry – is incredibly generous!” Eckenrode applauded the committees’ extensive efforts to support local collision school programs and students through a multitude of fundraising initiatives and volunteer efforts. “There are a lot of ways to make a difference including through volunteering of time, talents and donations. The I-CAR committees do all three of these things incredibly well through fundraisers as well as working directly with the schools and the students, and we’re grateful for the individuals who are dedicated to making a difference as well as the employers that support and encourage them when they volunteer their time to these efforts.
“The 2023 I-CAR Zone Meetings were a great success that brought industry professionals together to share knowledge, build connections and highlight the value of collaboration and community in the collision repair industry,” he added. “CREF is proud to be a part of such a supportive and dedicated community!”
Each committee honored by CREF for their efforts in 2022 received a unique bowling pin which was repaired, designed and painted by collision students around the country for use as recognition awards. During each meeting, CREF also had the chance to engage with local I-CAR volunteers through a break-out session.
“This was a great opportunity to provide an update on CREF activities and showcase opportunities where the I-CAR Committees can further assist students by ensuring their local schools are applying for CREF’s school grant and student scholarships,” Eckenrode recalled. “It also allowed committees to interact with each other to share tips and tricks on getting local schools engaged in their regions.”
I-CAR believes that local engagement with schools and students is so important that many of their committee goals are related to these efforts. Committees are encouraged to get involved with school advisory boards, host or attend a local career fair, and collaborate with CREF to hold a fundraising event to benefit a local school.
“As sister organizations, I-CAR takes support for CREF seriously,” says I-CAR CEO and President John S. Van Alstyne. “Not only do we provide daily back-office support for CREF, our Committees and Field Managers are very focused on raising the bar with schools, connecting them with CREF to drive improvement initiatives, and ultimately helping to place students in productive jobs especially with repair facilities. With our most recent donation, which we make annually on behalf the industry based on industry training activity with I-CAR, I-CAR has now donated nearly $2.1 million to CREF on the industry’s behalf since this donation program was put in place in 2012. The work we do together is making a difference for the industry, and we plan to do more in the coming years as our Talent Programming initiatives come to life.”
On February 24, during the I-CAR Western Zone Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, CREF honored two committees that have made a significant impact on the future generation of collision repair professionals.
- Minnesota I-CAR Committee
- Phoenix, AZ I-CAR Committee
The I-CAR Eastern Zone Meeting took place on March 24 in Charlotte, NC with eight I-CAR committees receiving recognition for their efforts to support collision schools and students.
- Albany, NY I-CAR Committee
- Atlanta, GA I-CAR Committee
- Baltimore, MD I-CAR Committee
- Broward County, FL I-CAR Committee
- Greater Philadelphia, PA I-CAR Committee
- Knoxville, TN I-CAR Committee
- Palm Beach, FL I-CAR Committee
- Providence, RI I-CAR Committee
During the weekend of May 5, the I-CAR Central Zone Meeting took place in St. Louis, MO where CREF recognized 10 committees:
- Columbus, OH I-CAR Committee
- Fox Valley, WI I-CAR Committee
- Houston, TX I-CAR Committee
- Indianapolis, IN I-CAR Committee
- Milwaukee, WI I-CAR Committee
- Madison, WI I-CAR Committee
- Northeast IN I-CAR Committee
- Northwest IN I-CAR Committee
- Southern IN I-CAR Committee
- Louis, MO I-CAR Committee
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, or to get engaged with I-CAR’s Committees across the country, can Contact Us to learn about the many ways to get involved. 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.
If you would like more information about this topic or any of CREF’s initiatives, please email email@example.com.