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CREF awards $22,500 check to Kennedy-King College at NACE Automechanika Chicago

Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 06:00
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CHICAGO – Brandon Eckenrode, Director of Development, Collision Repair Education Foundation, presented a check of $22,500 to Kennedy-King College, one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago, today at NACE Automechanika Chicago.

Over the past six months leading up to NACE Automechanika Chicago, the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) has gathered support and donations from individuals and businesses that will be used to help Chicago collision school instructors ensure that their students receive the best technical education possible.

From left to right: Eddie Phillips, Dean of Instruction for Kennedy-King College; Kenny McMillian, Professor for Kennedy-King College Automotive Department; Juan Salgado, Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago; and Brandon Eckenrode, Director of Development, Collision Repair Education Foundation.

Eckenrode explained, “We work with our industry partners to try to improve the high school and college collision programs across the country. Our end goal is that when students graduate they are ready for industry employment and can be productive on day one. This year we opened up the opportunity for local Chicago schools to apply for extra funding. We want to help those who want to help themselves, so we’re here today to recognize Kennedy-King College for helping out their students and for applying for this grant.”

Kennedy-King College expressed their gratitude for their ongoing partnership with CREF and the industry at large to help their students stay ahead of the curve. Kenny McMillian, Professor for Kennedy-King College Automotive Department, spoke, “Working in the collision industry for over 30 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes in vehicles and their materials. Working at a college level, we have to teach our students to be more productive and to be properly trained in the industry to repair these vehicles. I’d like to thank the Collision Repair Education Foundation and Brandon for this donation. We have a lot of input from the industry on how to properly train our students and what areas need to be addressed, and for that I’d just like to say thank you.”

CREF recognized three industry sponsors who helped make the donation possible: ABRA Auto Body & Glass, CCC, and Fix Auto.

Eddie Phillips, Dean of Instruction for Kennedy-King College, added, “The Collision Repair Education Foundation has been extremely valuable to us as a partner. We’ve done a lot of overhaul with our curriculum to make sure it is reflective of what is happening in the industry so that we send well-trained individuals into the workforce.”

Juan Salgado, Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago, expressed, “It’s great to have the coming together of the industry with places like City Colleges of Chicago so that we can truly create a pipeline of talent for our growing industry. I want to share my deep appreciation to Brandon for your years of service on the advisory council to help us be at a greater level of excellence for the preparation of our students. Thank you for this wonderful donation.”

Salgado also added that City Colleges of Chicago is beginning construction for another campus that will feature a facility that allows for more robust training for diesel mechanics and auto collision work to serve the needs of the industry.

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