Ensuring the next generation of collision repair professionals receive an education that allows them to successfully enter the workforce after graduation requires the support of the entire industry.
I-CAR, a longtime supporter of the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), recognizes this and encourages its committees across the country to get involved with their local collision repair educational programs.
In 2020, I-CAR donated $145,000 to assist CREF’s ability to provide tools, equipment, school grants and student scholarships to collision programs nationwide.
“On behalf of the industry, I-CAR is pleased to make this contribution that helps bolster the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s ongoing commitment to providing students with grants and scholarships that launch their careers in the collision repair industry,” said John Van Alstyne, CEO and president of I-CAR. “The foundation has a very important mission on behalf of our industry; everything they do helps schools do a better job of developing the talent necessary to sustain our industry.
“Although I-CAR donates these funds to CREF, we’re really just the conduit for the donation; funds are reserved from all our industry training activities, and I-CAR facilitates that donation on behalf of all the organizations and individuals who take our training,” Van Alstyne continued. “Everyone has financial constraints, but the health of our industry is vital to every participant in it. Without a healthy industry, we cannot have healthy businesses. It’s incumbent on all industry organizations to support initiatives like the Collision Repair Education Foundation.”
Through its efforts with collision repair educational facilities around the U.S., CREF provides support to more than 20,000 collision repair students.
Since 2012, I-CAR has provided financial donations to CREF totaling more than $1.6 million dollars, which assist CREF in its mission to support collision repair educational programs, schools and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities.
“CREF has an excellent track record of efficiently deploying funds to ensure they are channeled where they are most needed, and that’s something the industry can feel good about,” Van Alstyne noted. “But I-CAR joins CREF in advocating for industry professionals to get engaged with their local schools on a more personal level. Your involvement---giving shop tours, joining advisory committees or even...