Through its 2013 Hire Our Heroes program, 3M Automotive Aftermarket donated US$250,000 to programs that help returning military veterans, and honored some 25 veterans who are currently working in auto body repair shops, along with their repair shop owners, at the November 2013 NASCAR race in Texas. “The message of Hire Our Heroes was directed to shop owners and managers, so it felt right to recognize those veterans working in our industry and the owners who employ them,” said Dale Ross, U.S. marketing operations manager for 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “The $250,000 donation was made possible due to the support from our many distributors and collision shop customers through their purchases of 3M products, and we thank them for helping make this program a success in 2013.”
This year, 3M Automotive Aftermarket will expand the Hire Our Heroes program to continue to serve veterans. The 2014 program will again include a goal of US$250,000 in grants and support for collision repair training delivered through the Collision Repair Education Foundation. And this year, the Foundation and 3M are creating a job-matching service to connect graduates of the collision repair programs with auto body shops looking for skilled, qualified employees. Grants are available for qualifying returning veterans and family members.
Grants may be used for tuition, school fees, tools, textbooks, and equipment at qualifying technical schools.
“We are excited to be able to continue the 3M Hire Our Heroes program in 2014 and expand it to provide more resources to our returning veterans who want to pursue education, training, and jobs in the collision industry,” said Ross. “We had an opportunity to meet many deserving veterans during the course of the 2013 program and were honored to help with their transition to civilian life and a new career path.”
For 2014, distributors of 3M products and shop owners can continue to help support the 3M Hire Our Heroes program. For every qualifying purchase by a shop owner of select popular 3M products, 3M will contribute to the program, with a goal of US$250,000 total. This year, distributor sales professionals who lead the effort can also earn a trip to a NASCAR race in Bristol, TN, or a trip to SEMA to show their support of U.S. veterans. For more information, email Ted Guck.