All of the student medalists in the Collision Repair Technology and Automotive Refinishing Technology categories at the annual SkillsUSA Championships studied at schools that received grants from the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF).
The 11 schools represented by the 12 high school and college SkillsUSA medal winners collectively have received $916,000 in school improvement grants from the collision industry through Collision Repair Education Foundation-administered grant programs since 2014, according to the foundation.
Among the winners was David Fors, a student at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fitchburg, Mass., who won a silver medal in the High School Collision Technology competition.
“Having a student win a silver medal at the SkillsUSA national competition was rewarding to the staff here at Monty Tech and the student gained experiences and life skills that will last a lifetime,” said David Lelievre, collision repair instructor at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School. “The donations provided by the CREF really helps us prepare students to enter the workforce and prepare them for competitions, such as the SkillsUSA Championships.”
Joel Hartstack from Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa, won a gold medal in the College Collision Repair Technology competition.
“Of all the organizations that we belong to, the Collision Repair Education Foundation is by far the most valued asset that we have in acquiring donated scholarships, grants, tools, equipment and materials,” Joel’s instructor, Jeff Magneson, noted. “These donations are vital to producing the quality collision repair/refinish technicians of tomorrow as evidenced through our success at SkillsUSA. With the budget restrictions given to community colleges and the high price of career/technical training, it is more important than ever.”
The Collision Repair Education Foundation aims to support collision repair educational programs, schools and students to create qualified entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities. School grant programs are an important part of this effort, making sure students learn with the latest tools and technology necessary to repair today’s vehicles, the foundation said.
“Every school that won a medal in collision repair and refinishing this year is very involved with the Collision Repair Education Foundation and receives donations from us,” said Melissa Marscin, director of operations and administration for the foundation. “We truly believe the donations the industry provides throughout the year through the Foundation have made a difference in these students’ education and contributed to their success.”
For more information on how you can support the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s grant program, contact Christen Battaglia, at [email protected] or (302) 377-5202. For information on how to apply for school grants, visit the foundation website or contact Melissa Marscin at [email protected] or (888) 722-3787, ext. 282.