The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) announced that it has received $250,000 in financial and in-kind support for collision repair schools from KSI Auto Parts. KSI contributed $25,000 to support CREF last year and initiated a program to donate parts to collision school programs. Through the parts donation program, KSI has contributed $240,000 in parts to schools. The monetary contribution assists CREF’s ability to offer collision school tool and equipment grants and student scholarships across the U.S.
At many schools, students have to practice on parts that have been in use for many years and have been practiced on by previous students. The parts donations by KSI help students work on parts for newer vehicles that they are more likely to see when they join the collision industry workforce.
According to Joe Pantano, an auto collision repair instructor with Bergen County Technical Schools in Paramus, N.J., the donations helped him provide his students with a vastly improved learning experience.
“Prior to receiving this very generous donation from KSI, our students were using the same parts over and over again for years,” said Pantano. “As you can imagine, the parts were pretty worn out. The new parts allow us to have each student practice his or her skills individually as opposed to bringing in an entire vehicle, taking up a large amount of shop space. Overall, these parts have made a tremendous improvement in the learning by providing quality repairs and showing the students that the industry does think about helping future technicians.”
“As KSI continues to grow and pursue its long-term growth strategy, we want to make sure that we become a more active participant within industry,” said Christopher Patti, CEO of KSI Auto Parts. “We are excited to partner with CREF through these donations and look forward to building a stronger partnership over the years that will continue to benefit the students in these programs for years to come.”
Added CREF Executive Director Clark Plucinski, “KSI Auto Parts’ support for both the Collision Repair Education Foundation and collision schools helps improve the training and preparation entry-level employees receive prior to starting their career in the industry. School collision repair programs need the industry’s support to graduate qualified and properly trained students. On behalf of the schools, students and instructors that will benefit from this support, we thank KSI Auto Parts for their support.”
Collision repair facilities, insurance companies and suppliers interested in supporting school grants should contact Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at (312) 231-0258 or [email protected].