Thursday, 17 January 2019 16:33

CREF Benchmark Grant Applications Now Available to Collision Schools



The application for the Collision Repair Education Foundation Benchmark Grant program, formerly the Ultimate Makeover Grant, is now available to schools teaching collision repair across the U.S. The grant program is in its 10th year.


Instructors are advised to begin the application early, and industry professionals are encouraged to get involved with the Benchmark grant by working with their local school’s collision instructors to help them apply. The winning schools will be announced during the SEMA show in Las Vegas, NV, in November. Awards of up to $25,000 will be given.


The school Benchmark Grant application is available online and is due by Friday, June 7, 2019.


“Schools teaching the next generation of the collision industry’s workforce continue to face tremendous budgetary pressure. It is difficult for many to maintain their program at current capabilities, no less increase their abilities and improve the training they deliver to the industry’s future workforce,” said Melissa Marscin, director of operations/administration for the Foundation. “The Benchmark grant program is designed to help collision schools get the much-needed tools, equipment and supplies to increase their capabilities based upon industry-developed standards. Last year, every school that applied received some level of support through both grants and in-kind donations.”


The Benchmark grant program incorporates the Foundation’s Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark that was launched in 2017. Under the program developed by the Foundation, schools are classified into three tiers:


• Tier 1: Advanced
• Tier 2: Proficient
• Tier 3: Developing


The designation will be determined by the Foundation based upon information provided by schools about the capabilities of their program detailed in the Collision Repair Education Foundation Benchmark grant application. The criteria for each level includes the number of hours of instruction and curriculum in place, along with what tools, equipment and supplies a school uses to prepare their students for employment in the collision industry.


If there is something that a school needs to advance to the next level, the Education Foundation’s grant application will allow a school to request that particular item. The goal is to help every school acquire the resources needed to eventually achieve a Tier 1: Advanced school designation. Schools at Tier 1 status can request support for items that further advance and expand their program.

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