Looking for a way to support the schools that are training the next generation of auto body workers? If so, the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) wants to hear from you.
Through CREF, collision repair businesses can sponsor uniforms for students enrolled in high school and college auto body programs for the 2018-2019 school year.
Uniforms create a more professional learning environment for students, preparing them for potential careers in the collision industry, the foundation noted.
Each local student can be sponsored for $50, which provides the student with a Cintas work shirt and pants. Businesses that sponsor more than 20 uniforms can have their corporate logo featured on a patch on the front of the uniform shirts.
Students of Barry Roopnarine, a teacher in the collision program at Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School in Jamaica, N.Y., received donations from the Collision Centers of New York for the 2017-2018 school year.
“The sponsorship… allows the students to maintain a professional look,” Roopnarine said. “It also makes them aware that the collision industry is taking their education seriously, as they are the future of the industry.”
Participating businesses can sponsor schools of their choice, or the foundation can pair them with a school. The donation program can lead to long-term relationships between professionals and school programs that are preparing the next generation of collision industry employees, CREF noted.
“As we move into 2018, it’s important to invest and encourage our next generation of technicians,” said Madison Larson, human resources representative for the Collision Centers of New York. “These uniforms for the Thomas A. Edison auto body program allows the students to feel like they are a part of something special; it creates confidence and excitement for the program. The program is very dedicated to its students and we are thrilled to be a part of that.”
Sponsorship and donations are facilitated through the Collision Repair Education Foundation, but sponsoring businesses are invited to visit the school to meet the students and distribute the new uniforms.
“Having members from the Collision Centers visit the classroom allowed students the opportunity to explore career options and gain a deeper understanding of the importance of their education,” Roopnarine said.
Zachary Concepcion, a 12th-grade collision student at Edison Technical High School and recipient of uniform donations in 2017, said the donation shows him and his classmates where they can find opportunities in the industry.
“It gives us a reason to never be unprepared… and makes us look really professional as a class,” Concepcion said.
Companies interested in sponsoring the uniform donation program through the Collision Repair Education Foundation for the 2018-2019 school year can contact CREF Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at [email protected] or (847) 463-5244.
“Through partnership between collision education programs and collision industry associates it can lead to opportunities to help fill the technician shortage,” Roopnarine said. “Without the efforts of the Collision Repair Education Foundation, this opportunity would not have been possible as they help form a link between collision repair schools and the collision industry.”