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New initiative seeks donated car parts for collision repair schools

Friday, March 06, 2020 7:09 PM | Anonymous
A new "Part of the Solution" initiative by the Collision Repair Education Foundation provides dealers and dealer groups with an opportunity to support future technicians by donating leftover parts that otherwise might be discarded, allowing students to train on current model vehicles.
"Our philosophy is a higher quality program will attract a higher quality student, which will make for a higher quality industry employee," said Christen Battaglia, director of strategic partnerships for the foundation. "When the technicians entering the industry are well-trained on current vehicles, using modern equipment and tools, the entire automotive industry benefits."
Parts are the most frequent need reported by schools with collision repair education programs, including fenders, hoods, bumper covers and a variety of other parts. Without access to the parts, many students learn on vehicles and parts that are at least a decade old. But with the frequent advances in technology, that leaves student unequipped for a successful career after graduation.
Recognizing that most dealers dispose of thousands of dollars’ worth of parts monthly, the foundation developed the "Part of the Solution" initiative in order to connect local schools with these dealers and dealer groups. The CREF has compiled a list of more than 500 schools across the U. S. in need of scrap parts that can be donated at little to no cost to the donor facility.
Locally, the repair foundation named four schools in the Chicago market with collision repair curricula: College of Lake County (Grayslake), Kennedy King College (Chicago), Thornton Fractional High School, (Calumet City), and York Community High School (Elmhurst).
Dealers and dealer groups also can support future technicians by donating professional uniforms through the Foundation’s Student Technician Shirt Project. Supporters purchase professional Cintas technician shirts for their local collision education programs, and receive a logo patch on the shirt in recognition of their dedication to the industry.
Said Battaglia: "Receiving professional uniforms fills students with a sense of pride and teaches them what it means to look professional in the workplace. It instills confidence in them, reminds them that plenty of us believe in them, and reaffirms that they will have support as they pursue their education and enter the automotive industry as well-trained professionals."
Dealers interested in supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs should contact Battaglia at (302) 377-5202 or
Founded in 1991, the Collision Repair Education Foundation is a nonprofit 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.

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