Earlier this year, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes partnered with Larsen Motorsports (LMS) to establish The Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund to address the talent shortage facing the collision repair industry. At SEMA, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes and a number of well-known painters came together to support the program, auctioning off one-of-a-kind artwork and raising more than $25,000 for the Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund – Blazing Trails, a 501(c)3.
“Blazing Trails supports over 10,000 students annually through our educational outreach,” says Elaine Larsen, Co-Founder of LMS. “It is our hope with the establishment of this scholarship that the talent shortage facing the automotive industry will be addressed as we are looking for deserving students seeking education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) related fields.”
The Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund adds a specific focus to automotive service and collision repair programs at the post-secondary level to its existing vocational and technical training.
The silent auction in the Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes booth at this year’s SEMA show, auctioned off 33 art panels as large as 9 ft. by 6 ft. airbrushed and pinstriped by some of the industry’s biggest names including Steve Gibson, Joe Martin, Ryan Templeton and Darren Wenzel, among others. The auction was held in memory of Kat Moller, former jet car driver for LMS.
“Attracting career-minded students and skilled professionals to pursue an education in automotive service and collision repair is key,” says Rob Mowson, Vice President of Marketing, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes.
“Collision repair is becoming highly technical and there is a shortage of young talent entering the auto repair industry. Millennial recruitment for auto repair shops is more important now than ever before.”
A set number of students will be awarded with one (1) year of tuition for the 2020/21 school year at participating trade schools or technical/community colleges. The amount of the scholarship money awarded to each recipient of a Blazing Trails scholarship will be dependent upon the institution’s annual tuition fee.
LMS is seeking schools with automotive service programs to become a part of the scholarship program for the 2020/21 school year. Applications are being accepted at blazingtrails.info.
Participating schools will not only be able to help students finance their education with the help of the Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund, schools will receive products from automotive finishes division of Sherwin-Williams. Products range from refinish systems and custom paint, to collision repair products including body filler, hardener, abrasives, masking and more. For more information, visit the Blazing Trails Scholarship Fund.