In addition to its nearly $3.4 million software donation last year through a partnership with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), Audatex, a Solera company, has committed to donating $25,000 to the foundation annually for the next five years. The funds are unrestricted and will be used to support collision repair education students and programs in North America.
“We see a long-term commitment to CREF as a commitment to the health and growth of the automotive repair industry,” said Don Mikrut, vice president, Solera Global SMR Service Sales. The partnership aims to provide today’s collision repair students and training programs with the tools and resources they need to succeed in the continually evolving repair industry.
“Vehicles continue to get smarter and more complex and it’s crucial that the technicians who work on them receive the best training,” said Mikrut.
Audatex also collaborates with CREF on the Audatex Educational Institutions Program, which provides eligible collision schools in North America with access to Audatex Estimating software, online courses and training, a custom curriculum that includes CEUs and I-CAR points, and technical support.
Mikrut said, “Audatex partners with CREF because they support and enable the training of collision and repair technicians. The automotive workforce continues to age and sees fewer young adults enrolling in training programs – we want to help CREF attract students and train them with the best, most advanced technology.”
The partnership between CREF and Audatex Educational Institutions Program has provided subscriptions to the Audatex estimating software to 269 collision repair programs at schools in 41 states and continues to grow each year.
“We want to see CREF, and by extension, the collision industry, thrive by certifying qualified, knowledgeable technicians,” said Mikrut.
To qualify for participation in the Audatex Educational Institutions Program and access the estimating software, online courses and training and technical support Audatex offers, technical and vocational schools in the U.S. and Canada that offer a collision repair program should fill out the Educational Institutions Program Contact Form on the Audatex website, Audatex.us.
Companies and individuals interested in supporting high school and technical college collision school programs, instructors and students should contact Collision Repair Education Foundation Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at [email protected] or 847-463-5244.