Eckenrode details year-end donation matching program by BASF and Foundation’s successful school grant program.
The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) has been busy supporting high school and college collision school programs across the country over the past year and is asking for support during its holiday matching program where BASF will match up to $10,000 in donations to the Foundation.
In our video interview below, Eckenrode discusses the support they received from the industry for school grant programs and the opportunity for the industry to leverage BASF’s holiday donation matching program to increase the impact of their support.
At the recent SEMA event, CREF awarded nearly $700,000 in grants to school and college collision repair training programs. CREF offers tailored support to schools, including tools, equipment, and recruitment support.
“We were very fortunate through our industry partners to have awarded over $600,000, nearly $700,000, out to the schools at that event,” said Eckenrode. “We also were able to hear, Russ, from some of the instructors that this support impacts, and we heard some great feedback of how grateful they are for the support, but they also shared that what situation they’re going through within their programs. There was a high school instructor from Houston, Texas, who shared that he has 150 students in his collision program this year, but his total collision budget is $3,000. So while this industry has high expectations on these schools, graduating properly trained staff for industry employment, it just helps re-emphasize how the support that CREF provides to schools across the country is crucial in the technical education of those students.”
Traditionally, when unemployment is low, community colleges struggle to low enrollment in skilled trades education programs as young people are more easily able to find employment. The Foundation has structured its grant programs for schools to let them address this issue, or others, that are specific to their needs and their local community.
“One of the grants that we offer, the benchmark grant that we offer out to schools across the country, they can actually apply for the support that they need,” explained Eckenrode. “When it comes to enrollment, Contra Costa College in Northern California, they were the recipient of a grant, and we actually collaborated and built a recruitment video that they are now using to promote their collision program to their market.”
Eckenrode also detailed the BASF holiday donation matching program and how supporters can double the impact of their donations between now and the end of the year.
“This time of year is when people are making or considering year-end tax-deductible donations. Obviously, we hope that the Collision Repair Education Foundation can be an organization that they consider to support, but happy to report that our friends and longtime supporters over at BASF, they are doing a holiday matching grant,” said Eckenrode. “Companies or individuals that are looking to make a year-end tax-deductible donation, BASF is matching up to initially $10,000 worth of donations between now and the end of the year.”