The Collision Repair Education Foundation announced that AudaExplore, a Solera Company, working together with the Education Foundation, will once again be awarding $25,000 in tool grants to all high school and post-secondary collision repair and refinishing students who competed at the national SkillsUSA contest. By working together with industry companies and their student product discounts, the retail value of these tools will exceed $50,000. The tool grants are meant to recognize the students’ outstanding efforts in qualifying to compete at the national SkillsUSA event and help prepare them for a career within the collision industry.
“This donation aligns very well with our LIFT charitable giving program, which focuses on helping those in need to build sustainable roots for lasting change,” said Rick Tuuri, vice president of industry relations, AudaExplore. ”Helping people get started in this industry is in our DNA, as our founder and CEO, Tony Aquila, started as many technicians do: sweeping floors in a body shop. The U.S. Department of Labor projected the employment growth of the automotive body segment to be 13 percent from 2012 to 2022. SkillsUSA and the Collision Repair Education Foundation have done a fantastic job enhancing career opportunities for students to take advantage of this growth, and we are proud to be a part of it.”
Added Collision Repair Education Foundation Executive Director Clark Plucinski, “This is the second year that AudaExplore has awarded the collision repair and refinishing students with these tool grants, and it’s a great display to these state winners that there is an industry that recognizes their accomplishments and skill. As these students are the potential future members of the industry, I commend AudaExplore on this reward for the ‘best of the best’ students through the SkillsUSA competition.”