3M announced it donated $889,719.50 in products and supplies to 300 schools around the country through the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF).
“Investing in the talent of the future for collision repair trade is a priority for 3M and the industry we serve. We are seeing talent and labor shortages all over the United States, said Lori Tempelis, vice president United States and Canada for the 3M Automotive Aftermarket. “Engaging in the talent of the future not only fuels the body shops we work with, our developer and application engineers come from the industry to keep advancing and providing the experience to support our customers.”
“Equipping collision education programs with the most up-to-date supplies, materials, tools and equipment allows collision instructors to train students with the same products they’ll be using in their future positions in the industry — without maxing out the department’s budget — each care package included several DA sanders, along with sanding/graining/finishing discs, sandpaper, repair glue and ‘all kinds of good stuff,'” said Jerry Goodson, collision repair and refinishing instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College (Eau Claire, WI).
Enhancing students’ experience during their education is vital to maintaining engagement, but the donations play an even more important role in prepping the pipeline of workers and fueling the future success of the industry: They show students that they will be supported in their pursuit of a collision career, Goodson notes. “Each time we receive a delivery, my students are excited to see what donations came in. They really value that the industry cares about their education and ensuring we have the materials they need to learn their trade. I appreciate everything CREF and the industry does to help our program, but more importantly, our students appreciate it. These students are our future. Supporting collision programs enables our schools to provide students with a quality education that sets them up for success – and fulfills the industry’s future workforce needs.”