Toyota Motor North America, Inc. connected the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) to Toyota Auto Body California, Inc. for a donation of 944 quarter panels, valued at $632,480, which will benefit collision repair educational programs around the country. Quarter panels will be distributed to over 100 schools, immediately impacting over 3,000 students by allowing them to practice the skills needed to success in this field; however, the long-term impact will be much higher as instructors often reuse these panels in multiple semesters with many more students.
“Technician shortage concerns come up every time I talk to our certified collision centers, field offices and the industry,” Toyota Motor North America Collision Repair & Refinish Manager Kazuyo Jones explains why it’s important to connect industry with schools. “When Toyota comes across those part or vehicle donation opportunities, our organization wants to utilize those opportunities for people who need them. We need to energize the industry by doing what we can to support its future workforce.”
“This type of in-kind donation is mentioned as one of the most needed items by collision programs across the US,” says CREF Director of Marketing and Project Management Amber Ritter. “This is truly an example of a donation that allows students to learn, practice and hone the important skills that lead to rewarding careers. Repetitions are an important part of the learning process, and Toyota’s donation is helping to make that possible.”
Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs should contact Brandon Eckenrode, Managing Director, at 312-231-0258 or Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org.