The ongoing technician shortage poses a problem for many collision repair facilities around the country, and while most can agree that the resolution begins with the youth who will become the industry’s future, students often struggle to pay post-secondary tuition. The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) attempts to address some of those funding concerns through its Student Scholarship awards.
In order to be eligible for the foundation’s scholarships, applicants must visit a collision industry business — shops, suppliers, paint companies or any other segment — and CREF urges industry organizations to participate in this step of the process, which will also allow them to get acquainted with the next generation of collision professionals.
“Hopefully, this process will help students envision the many opportunities available to them, and we’re hopeful that industry organizations could even extend future job offers,” said Melissa Marscin, director of operations and administration for the foundation. “Helping students pursue a collision education without accruing debt has made a huge impact for hundreds of student over the years, and CREF is thankful for the industry supporters who have made this possible by continuing to step up and donate to fund these annual scholarships.”
CREF’s 2022 Student Scholarships provided 46 students with nearly $150,000 in financial assistance to ensure those students will be able to continue their education and that they are prepared to pursue a successful career in body shops around the country.
In addition to scholarships and tool grants, 50 veterans will receive toolboxes, valued up to $500 each, through CREF and 3M’s Hire Our Heroes initiative.
Applications will open Jan. 13 with a deadline of March 9, 2023. Apply for a Student Scholarship here.
Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting CREF’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs can contact CREF here to learn about the many ways to get involved. Monetary donations can be made online.