Mitchell International and The I-CAR Collision Repair Education Foundation announced a new partnership aimed at helping the next generation of collision repair professionals. Mitchell is making an unlimited donation of its RepairCenter Estimating and TechAdvisor OEM repair procedure software in support of the Education Foundation’s new Collision Repair School Solutions survey program. All secondary and post-secondary technical schools and colleges that offer a collision repair program are invited to complete the survey, and in return they will receive Mitchell RepairCenter software for use in their classrooms.
Mitchell is donating its RepairCenter Workspace solution with integrated Estimating and TechAdvisor software as an incentive for schools to complete the Collision Repair School Solutions survey. These products will serve as a teaching tool for instructors and give students hands-on experience with the same industry-leading systems that collision repair businesses use today.
There is no limit to the donation, but the Collision Repair Education Foundation and Mitchell International estimate the average annual value to be over $25,000 per school, with hundreds of schools expected to participate in the Education Foundation’s survey program.
The Education Foundation will use the survey results to track key academic performance indicators such as enrollment, placement, personnel, facilities and equipment. The survey will also be used to identify program needs for new training tools and equipment and to create metrics to measure the success of the collision education system going forward. Schools will be required to retake the survey on an annual basis to renew their subscription to the Mitchell software and any other software licenses.
"Mitchell’s gift is both extremely generous and the catalyst to creating real change for the better within our collision repair schools," said Scott Kruger, executive director of the Education Foundation. "Both of our organizations are very excited to see how students will benefit from having this information in hand and the creative ways educators will use the systems in the classroom and on the shop floor."
Marc Brungger, Mitchell’s executive vice president for auto physical damage, said, "Mitchell’s fundamental goal is to support the collision repair industry, and this partnership with the Education Foundation is a perfect fit. We are delighted and proud to support the Education Foundation by providing software and materials to enhance the education of the next generation of collision repair professionals."
In addition to the pledge of its software products for the survey program, Mitchell International has also contributed $10,000 to the Collision Repair Education Fund and pledged an ongoing donation of reconditioned laptop computers to be distributed to collision repair schools and students. The Education Foundation will distribute the computers to grant recipient schools and will include them as part of their Ultimate Collision Education Makeover program.
Several of the donated computers were included in the 2010 Makeover program and are already in use at the winning school, Steel Center Area Vocational Technical School in Jefferson Hills, Pa. Jim Fichera, a collision repair instructor at the school, said, "The donation of Panasonic Toughbook computers with Mitchell RepairCenter Estimating installed will make it much easier for our collision repair students to look up parts and times. We would like to thank Mitchell International and everyone involved with the donation of the computers provided through the I-CAR Collision Repair Education Foundation."