...their educational programs stay relevant as the industry advances.
“Communication between schools and shops is vitally important. If the industry wants the schools’ help with the talent crisis, we need to assist them,” Ticel said, urging industry professionals to get involved.
“Research CREF and understand what their mission is. You can support them not only with financial contributions, but also with tools, equipment and supplies," Ticel said. "We often hear about good functioning equipment, tools and supplies being just thrown away, but these schools need those tools and equipment---CREF can identify a school that needs your shop’s used goods.
"Also, get involved with your local schools. Participate on their advisory council, tour their facility and present to the students the opportunities that exist in the collision repair industry.
"Lastly, get involved with the local I-CAR committee. We are always looking for new members,” Ticel said.
“The Collision Repair Education Foundation literally would not exist without the foresight and investment by I-CAR on behalf of the collision industry to support collision schools and students across the country," said CREF Executive Director Clark Plucinski. "Since our founding in 1991, I-CAR staff, its volunteers and its board and industry supporters have worked side by side with the Collision Repair Education Foundation to support the pre-employment education system the industry relies upon for its future workforce.”
Supporting the schools training future collision repair professionals is vital because “it’s all about sustainability,” Van Alstyne said. “Today’s students will drive our industry tomorrow, and we applaud the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s longtime focus on expanding and promoting quality collision repair educational opportunities for them.
"Our two organizations have a close relationship, and we are excited to help shape the future together. We encourage the entire industry to get involved with helping schools become more successful and properly educate the industry’s future employees. That’s the only way to solve this industry’s talent crisis.”
Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting CREF's efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs should contact Brandon Eckenrode, director of development, at 312-231-0258 or Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org.