Over 100 Collision Schools Receive $668,500 in 2023 Benchmark Grants, Funded by Generous Industry Supporters and Facilitated by CREF

Hoffman Estates, Ill. (November 13, 2023) –

There’s strength in numbers, and that’s certainly the message that’s been sent by the many supporters of Collision Repair Education Foundation’s (CREF) Benchmark Grant program.

Thanks to the generosity of a multitude of industry partners – both small and large – the Foundation is proud to announce that 109 collision schools will receive $678,500 in Benchmark Grant funding to financially support their efforts to educate the collision industry’s future workforce and making a difference in the lives of the students training in those programs.

“Congratulations to the CREF Benchmark grant recipient schools, and thank you to our industry partners for their continued support,” says CREF Executive Director Brandon Eckenrode. “I would also like to specifically recognize the instructors who applied for the grants as it shows their commitment to bettering their collision programs, which in turn allows them to provide a quality technical education for their students and prepare them for industry entry-level employment. These grants will help instructors with their limited program budgets and CREF is in a unique role of directing industry support to collision programs in need.”

“We are very proud to be able to fund so many 2023 Benchmark Grants, and we cannot thank the sponsors enough for their dedication to supporting the next generation of collision repairers through their educational institutions,” said Melissa Marscin, Director of Operations and Impact for CREF. “With that support, these schools will have the funds to better train the industry’s future workforce and ensure their students will have a great advantage when starting the next part of their collision journey.”

Four grants, totaling $61,000, were funded by CREF. A $25,000 Benchmark Grant was bestowed upon Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School (Fitchburg, MA), and North Arkansas College (Harrison, AR) was awarded a $20,000 grant. A grant of $10,000 was given to North Dakota State College of Science (Wahpeton, ND), and SUNY Morrisville (Morrisville, NY) received a $6,000 Benchmark Grant from CREF.

Thanks to a generous $40,000 donation from General Motors (GM), eight collision schools will each receive a $5,000 Benchmark Grant to be used toward enhancing their educational offerings and helping to ensure that the students graduating from their programs are prepared to enter a career in the collision repair industry. Those schools are as follows:

• Central Montco Technical High School (Plymouth Meeting, PA)

•Duncanville High School (Duncanville, TX)

• Ivy Tech Community College (Fort Wayne, IN)

• Miami Valley Career & Technical Center (Englewood, OH)

• RCTC Ypsilanti Community Schools (Ypsilanti, MI)

• Saginaw Career Complex (Saginaw, MI) D. Ormsby Educational Center (East Aurora, NY)

• Warren Tech (Lakewood, CO)

Hertz continues to prove its dedication to high school and college collision schools and students through its generous support and sponsorship of CREF. This year, eight collision schools will receive Benchmark Grants, thanks to Hertz’s $40,000 donation. Cattaraugus Allegany BOCES Center at Belmont (Belmont, NY) will receive a $10,000 grant. Seven additional schools were awarded $5,000 each, as follows:

• Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute (Hudson, NC)

• Dennis Technical Education Center (Boise, ID)

• Northeast Arkansas Career & Technical Center (Jonesboro, AR)

• Oxford Hills Technical School/Maine Vocational Region 11 (Norway, ME)

• Rolla Technical Institute (Rolla, MO)

• Scott County Career & Technical Center (Gate City, VA)

Caliber Collision continued its support of the collision repair industry by donating $25,000 in Benchmark Grant funding, with the following five schools receiving $5,000 each:

• Center of Applied Technology North (Severn, MD)

• Eastern Center for Arts & Technology (Willow Grove, PA)

• Kingwood Park High School (Kingwood Park, TX)

• Lorenzo Walker Technical College (Naples, FL)

• Thomas A. Edison Career & Technical Academy (Elizabeth, NJ)

In collaboration with CREF, Fix Auto USA sponsored five $5,000 Benchmark Grants to benefit the following programs:

• Aims Community College (Windsor, CO)

• Dos Palos High School (Dos Palos, CA)

• EHOVE Career Center (Milan, OH)

• Marengo Community High School District 154 (Marengo, IL)

• New Market Skills Center (Tumwater, WA)

Nationwide Insurance again partnered with CREF to support collision schools and students by donating $25,000 to fund Benchmark Grants for four schools’ collision education programs. Ft. Hayes Career Center (Columbus, OH) received a $10,000 Benchmark Grant. Additionally, Nationwide awarded $5,000 Benchmark Grants to:

• Fayetteville Technical Community College (Fayetteville, NC)

• Judson High School (Converse, TX)

• Wake Technical Community College (Raleigh, NC)

Crash Champions partnered with CREF to provide $5,000 Benchmark Grants to four collision repair education programs:

• Iredell-Statesville Career Academy & Technical School (Troutman, NC)

• Metropolitan Community College (Omaha, NE)

• North Idaho College (Coeur d’Alene, ID)

• Ogden High School (Ogden, UT)

LKQ Corporation continued its support of CREF – and the industry’s future generation of repair professionals – by donating $20,000 to fund four 2023 Benchmark Grants. Each of the following schools will receive a $5,000 Benchmark Grant:

• Lewis-Clark State College (Lewiston, ID)

• Mercer County Technical Education Center (Princeton, WV)

• SUN Area Technical Institute (New Berlin, PA)

• Tulsa Technology Center (Broken Arrow, OK)

Thanks to a $20,000 donation from National Coatings & Supplies (NCS)/Single Source, four collision education programs will receive $5,000 Benchmark Grants:

• Bay Path (Charlton, MA)

• Chantilly Academy (Chantilly, VA)

• Salem County Vocational Technical Schools (Woodstown, NJ)

• William M. Davies Career & Technical High School (Lincoln, RI)

Axalta supported CREF and the industry at-large by awarding $15,000 worth of funding, which was distributed to three schools in need of assistance to better address the educational needs of students. The following schools each received $5,000:

• Career Center of Southern Illinois (Red Bud, IL)

• Holmes County Career Tech Center (Lexington, MS)

• Perryville Area Career & Technology Center (Perryville, MD)

CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc. (CCC) is proud to announce that three CCC Classroom Enhancement Grants, totaling $15,000, have been awarded through CREF. The 2023 CCC Classroom Grant Award recipients (awarded $5,000 each) include:

• Greater Lowell Technical High School (Tyngsboro, MA): $3,000

• Region Two School of Applied Technology (Houlton, ME): $5,000

• Tarrant County College District (Fort Worth, TX): $7,000

CREF announces Classic Collision has made a $15,000 donation to fund three Benchmark Grants. The three following schools were awarded $5,000 each:

• Norwalk High School (Norwalk, CA)

• Stanly Community College (Albemarle, NC)

• Wenatchee Valley Tech (Wenatchee, WA)

Copart has demonstrated its commitment to the future of the collision repair industry by contributing $15,000 in 2023 Benchmark Grants to three schools in need through CREF. Each of the following schools will receive a $5,000 Benchmark Grant:

• GST BOCES Coopers Education Center (Painted Post, NY)

• Montana State University Billings City College (Billings, MT)

• Prosser Career Education Center (New Albany, IN)

Three collision repair educational programs will each receive a $5,000 Benchmark Grant, funded by the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, through CREF:

• Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (Marlboro, MA)

• New York Automotive & Diesel Institute (Jamaica, NY)

• Thornton Fractional High School Center for Academics & Technology (Calumet City, IL)

Gerber Collision & Glass, a division of the Boyd Group, Inc., continued to support the collision industry’s future generation by funding three Benchmark Grants via a $15,000 donation to CREF. Three $5,000 Benchmark Grants from Gerber Collision & Glass were awarded to:

• Forbes Road Career & Technical Center (Monroeville, PA)

• Fox Valley Technical College (Appleton, WI)

• Hudson Valley Community College (Troy, NY)

CREF is excited to announce that two worthy schools will each receive $5,000 Benchmark Grants, thanks to the generosity of the Adelmann Family Foundation expanding its support of students through scholarships to include aiding the schools that educate the future generation through these grants. The Adelmann Family Foundation awarded $5,000 Benchmark Grants to:

• Minnesota State College Southeast (Winona, MN)

• South Central College (North Mankato, MN)

Yet again, Driven Brands Collision displayed its support for the future of the collision repair industry by donating $10,000 to fund two Driven Collision Benchmark Grants through CREF. These grants elevate the caliber of graduates entering the field and benefit educational facilities located in Driven Brands Collision markets.

Each of the following schools received a $5,000 Driven Collision Grant:

• Delgado Community College (New Orleans, LA)

• Kennedy-King College (Chicago, IL)

Continuing its collaboration with CREF, Farmers Insurance® donated $10,000 to fund two Benchmark Grants in support of collision repair education programs at secondary and post-secondary schools. Farmers Insurance awarded $5,000 grants to:

• Livermore High School (Livermore, CA)

• South Plains College (Levelland, TX)

The Development Solutions Group supported CREF and the collision industry’s future by awarding two $6,000 Bill Bailey Honorary School Grants to the following:

• Nichols Career Center (Jefferson City, MO)

• Lex La-Ray Technical Center (Lexington, MO)

Hayes Chrysler Dodge sponsored a $5,000 Benchmark Grant in support of collision repair education at Lanier Technical College (Gainesville, GA) to enhance their educational offerings and help ensure that the students graduating from their programs are prepared to enter a career in the collision repair industry.

Thanks to the generosity of non-industry entity, J.W. Bagley Foundation, the following two schools will each receive a $5,000 Benchmark Grant to assist with maintaining their programs:

• Pulaski High School (Milwaukee, WI)

• Rio Grande City High School (Rio Grande City, TX)

A donation from OEM1Stop created two grants, awarded to:

• Hawkeye Community College (Waterloo, IA): $6,000

• Waite High School (Toledo, OH): $5,000

PartsTrader funded a $5,000 Benchmark Grant which was bestowed upon Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School (Palmer, MA).

Stellantis also continued its support of the Foundation and collision schools by sponsoring a $5,000 Benchmark Grant to benefit Baton Rouge Community College (Baton Rouge, LA).

CREF is also excited to announce that 32 secondary and post-secondary schools in the United States will benefit from Benchmark Grants funded through the efforts of 14 devoted I-CAR Committees. Through the employment of various fundraising methods, funds totaling $234,500 were generated, which will aid the industry’s future generation in becoming prepared for a career in collision repair. The 14 I-CAR Committees and the grants they bestowed include:

Atlanta I-CAR Committee

• Athens Technical College (Athens, GA): $5,000

• Etowah High School (Woodstock, GA): $15,000

• Lanier Technical College (Gainesville, GA): $10,000

• Maxwell High School of Technology (Lawrenceville, GA): $15,000

• North Georgia Technical College (Clarkesville, GA): $10,000

• Paulding County High School (Dallas, GA): $10,000

Broward County I-CAR Committee

• Atlantic Technical College (Coconut Creek, FL): $5,000

• Mcfatter College (Davie, FL): $5,000

• Sheridan Technical College (Hollywood, FL): $5,000

Central Pennsylvania I-CAR Committee

• Dauphin County Technical School (Harrisburg, PA): $10,000

• Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology (Lancaster, PA): $10,000

• Greater Philadelphia I-CAR Committee Berks Career & Technology Center (Oley, PA): $5,000

• Career Institute of Technology (Easton, PA): $10,000

• Lebanon County Career & Technology Center (Lebanon, PA): $5,000

• Northern Westmoreland Career & Technology Center (New Kensington, PA): $5,000

• Rosedale Technical College (Pittsburgh, PA): $5,000

Indianapolis I-CAR Committee

• Walker Career Center (Indianapolis, IN): $5,000

Knoxville I-CAR Committee

• TCAT (Knoxville, TN): $5,000

• TCAT (Morristown, TN): $5,000

Maryland I-CAR Committee

Gaithersburg High School (Gaithersburg, MD): $17,000

Nashville I-CAR Committee

• Northwest High School (Clarksville, TN): $5,000

• TCAT (Smyrna, TN): $5,000

Palm Beach I-CAR Committee

• South Tech Academy (Boynton Beach, FL): $5,000

Phoenix I-CAR Committee

• Andrada High School (Tucson, AZ): $5,000

• Sunny Side High School (Tucson, AZ): $5,000

• West-MEC (Phoenix, AZ): $10,000

Rhode Island I-CAR Committee

• New England Institute of Technology (East Greenwich, RI): $20,000

St. Louis I-CAR Committee

• Lewis and Clark Career Center (St. Charles, MO): $2,500

• North Technical High School (Florissant, MO): $2,500

• South Technical High School (Sunset Hills, MO): $2,500

Western North Carolina I-CAR Committee

• Sandhills Community College (Pinehurst, NC): $5,000

Wisconsin I-CAR Committee

• Freedom High School (Freedom, WI): $5,000

Eligibility for these awards was achieved by applying for the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s 2023 Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark Grant. The Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark Grants recognize schools that excel at educating students in collision repair, but due to strained school budgets, the programs require additional financial assistance. Recipient schools use these funds to provide the tools, equipment and supplies necessary to enhance their students’ learning experience and elevate the caliber of their graduates, ensuring that graduates are prepared to successfully enter the workforce upon graduation. Applications for the 2024 Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark Grants will be available online in Spring 2024.

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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top