Chief Automotive’s $75,000 In-Kind Donation Benefits Collision Schools Through CREF 


Chief Automotive believes students need access to the right tools to learn how to become the best technicians they can be---and that’s exactly why it connected with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) to donate $75,000 worth of rivet guns and subscriptions, which will benefit collision repair educational programs around the country. 

“Chief has been a supporter of schools all over the world for over 50 years. It has always been a core part of our business to support our future technicians,” said Mike Croker, director, product management for Chief Collision Technology. “With technician shortages being one of the big problem areas shops are dealing with, anything we can do to support them is critical. We have seen time and time again how supporting the schools pays off for shops and technicians. 

"I personally went to a technical high school and college for collision repair, and I remember how vendors supporting the programs made a difference in the future careers of our students," Croker said. "It doesn’t matter if support is on a local level from local distributors, shop owners or other industry companies…or if it’s received at a national level. We need to challenge every stakeholder in the collision repair community to support the schools educating our future workforce.”

The rivet guns donated by Chief will allow students to put their hands on some of the latest technology being used to repair late model vehicles. 

“We have seen a huge change in attachment methods on new vehicles,” Croker pointed out. “Getting students this type of hands-on experience with the tools being used in modern repair methods allows them to be better prepared to handle the same equipment they will use in a collision center. Likewise, the software subscriptions, which are used in our structural 3D measuring systems, provides students with access to the latest vehicle specifications on the market while removing the burden from the schools’ annual budgets.”

Collision education programs are frequently underfunded, limiting instructors’ ability to purchase the tools and equipment needed to effectively train their students. By partnering with the foundation, Chief Automotive is helping ensure the next generation of collision repair professionals receive the hands-on experience necessary to graduate with the skills they need to successfully join the industry as entry-level technicians. 

“In-kind donations are often mentioned as one of the most relevant ways to help collision programs across the U.S.,” said CREF Director of Marketing and Project Management Amber Ritter. “This donation will truly allow students to learn, practice and hone the important skills that lead to rewarding careers. Equipping them with these rivet guns and also providing subscriptions to help educate them on using these tools will benefit many students, and the foundation is grateful to Chief Automotive for making that possible.”

Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs can contact us to learn about the many ways to get involved. Monetary donations can be made online.

Source: CREF

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