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CREF announces application for Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grants

Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 09:00
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Now in its tenth year, the Collision Repair Education Foundation announced that the application for its Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant is now available online for high school and post-secondary collision school programs. The application deadline will be Friday, June 1, 2018. Instructors are advised to begin the application early and industry professionals are encouraged to get involved with the Makeover grant by working with their local school’s collision instructors to help them apply. The winning schools will be announced during the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nev. in October. Awards of up to $50,000 will be given.

“School collision programs are under tremendous budgetary pressure,” said Melissa Marscin, Director of Operations/Administration for the Foundation. “The Makeover grant program is designed to help collision schools get the much needed tools, equipment and supplies they couldn’t get otherwise and increase their capabilities. Last year, 160 schools that applied received some level of support through both grants and in-kind donations.”

The Makeover grant program incorporates the Foundation’s “Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark” that was launched in 2016. Under the new program developed by the Foundation, schools are classified into three tiers:

  • Tier 1: Advanced,
  • Tier 2: Proficient, or
  • Tier 3: Developing.

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The designation is determined by the Foundation based upon information provided by schools about their capabilities that are detailed in the Collision Repair Education Makeover grant application. The criteria for each level includes the number of hours of instruction, curriculum in place, along with what tools, equipment, and supplies a school uses to prepare their students for employment in the collision industry.

If there is something that a school needs to advance to the next level, the Education Foundation’s grant application will allow a school to request that particular item. The goal is to help every school acquire the resources to eventually achieve a Tier 1: Advanced school designation. Schools at Tier 1 status can request support for items that further advance their program. The organization’s Board of Trustees Selection Committee will select the winners of the awards and determine what items off the wish lists each school will receive.

Since 2009, schools have been able to apply for the Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Grant to get much needed tools, equipment, and supplies for their school. Over $4 million in cash and in-kind donations have been given out to schools as a result of the grant, and over 25,000 collision students have been impacted by the program. Industry members interested in getting involved with the Foundation and joining its efforts to support the future of the collision industry, please contact Foundation Director of Development, Brandon Eckenrode at 847.463.5244 or

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