The Collision Repair Education Foundation consistently strives to be the industry's leader in bridging the gap between students in school and industry employment.
On the first day of CREF-mas, we showcase CREF's ability to connect high school and college collision students with local and national industry employers.
The aging industry workforce and dire need for properly trained, entry-level staff are widely seen as the industry's critical issues. CREF is addressing these by conducting high school and college transportation student career fair events around the country.
These events are held at schools, industry facilities and even auto show floors, with the goal of bringing together hundreds---sometimes thousands---of students and showcase showcase the many different career paths available to them.
During the current pandemic, as large groups aren't able to gather, CREF is collecting students' resumes electronically for distribution, and will soon pilot virtual career fair events.
Ferman Auto Group, a large dealership group in Florida, has enjoyed a lot of successful recruitment since starting to attend the Tampa Bay Career Fairs hosted by CREF over the past couple years.
“CREF’s Career Fairs are very impressive and organized," said Ferman’s Collision Director Chris Shrewsbury. "Each year we’ve attended, there have been hundreds of students to talk with, and between our collision and service departments, Ferman has hired over a dozen students from the last two years’ events.
“One of our early hires from HCC is now a full body technician, as is a tech at our Brandon location," Shrewsbury said. "We have a painter helper who is really progressing on the path to becoming a successful collision repair painter. Two body techs at our Clearwater shop are doing great and so are several hires in the service department.
"We’ve retained at least half of the employees we’ve hired through the foundation’s 2018 and 2019 Career Fairs.”
Involvement with HCC led Shrewsbury to realize the potential value of...