Tuesday, 09 August 2022 08:57

3M Product Donations Supply 300 Schools with Materials to Educate the Future Workforce Through CREF


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As 2021 drew to an end, 3M was looking toward the future---specifically the collision repair industry’s future---as it donated $889,719.50 in products and supplies to 300 schools around the country, through the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF).

“Investing in the talent of the future for collision repair trade is a priority for 3M and the industry we serve. We are seeing talent and labor shortages all over the United States," said Lori Tempelis, vice president U.S. and Canada for the 3M Automotive Aftermarket. “Engaging in the talent of the future not only fuels the body shops we work with, our developer and application engineers come from the industry to keep advancing and providing the experience to support our customers.”


Equipping collision education programs with the most up-to-date supplies, materials, tools and equipment allows collision instructors to train students with the same products they’ll be using in their future positions in the industry---without maxing out the department’s budget.


Each care package included several DA sanders, along with sanding/graining/finishing discs, sandpaper, repair glue and “all kinds of good stuff,” according to Jerry Goodson, collision repair and refinishing instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, WI.


“We receive an awesome package from 3M and CREF at least once a semester, sometimes more often,” Goodson said. “It seems like every time our supplies start running low or our tools begin wearing out, we receive another pallet of donated materials from CREF through 3M or the foundation’s others donors. It’s great that students get to learn with similar products to what they’ll be seeing when they enter the workforce; we don’t have to teach them on lower quality products to maintain our budget, plus the donations enable us to use more materials which gives students more experience before graduation.”


Enhancing students’ experience during their education is vital to maintaining engagement, but the donations play an even more important role in prepping the pipeline of workers and fueling the future success of the industry: they show students they will be supported in their pursuit of a collision career.


“Each time we receive a delivery, my students are excited to see what donations came in. They really value that...

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