Industry Partnership will Address National Collision Technician Shortage and Open the Program’s Seventh U.S. School
ST. LOUIS, Jan. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Enterprise Holdings, through the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, today announced a strategic partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund to support the growth of the industry-leading Collision Engineering Program (CEP). The new industry partnership will expand the CEP to a new college that will become the seventh school to offer the two-year apprenticeship model, founded by Enterprise Holdings Foundation and Ranken Technical College, to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill essential roles within the collision repair industry.
The Collision Engineering Program unites industry and education to foster pathways to rewarding careers in the automotive industry.
The Ford Fund will offer scholarships to CEP students to prevent any barriers to students’ academic success. Ford Fund’s support will also fund program startup costs, instructor training and school equipment such as lab materials, and provide students access to toolkits, uniforms, PPE, certifications, tuition assistance, assessments and other student-centered resources at the new school.
“This is an exciting time to support students pursuing careers in collision engineering,” said Mike Schmidt, economic mobility director at Ford Motor Company Fund. “As the auto industry is rapidly evolving, the need for bright minds who are passionate about technical careers becomes greater every day. Partnerships like these allow us to drive progress more quickly, and with a greater impact, for the next generation of engineers.”
With more than 110,000 new collision technicians needed between 2022 and 2026, according to the TechForce Foundation, a national public charity, the CEP is designed in collaboration with the automotive industry and encourages schools and industry leaders to work together to build a new generation of highly skilled, motivated and passionate collision repair professionals. Throughout the Program, students learn in both classrooms and modern collision engineering facilities where industry experts provide real-world education as students work toward earning their associate degree.
“Widespread industry support is vital to addressing the worker shortage and skills gap, and to ensuring the success of the Collision Engineering Program,” said Mary Mahoney, vice president at Enterprise Holdings. “As a leader in the automotive industry, we’re committed to addressing these challenges with our partners. We could not be more thrilled to expand our longtime partnership with Ford Motor Company, through its philanthropic arm, the Ford Fund, to increase access to the Program and help address this ongoing industry challenge.”
The CEP is also partnering with the TechForce Foundation to help administer the Ford Fund scholarships for students enrolled in the Program.
“This collaboration enables even more students who are passionate about the collision engineering field to pursue their dreams,” said Jennifer Maher, executive director of TechForce Foundation. “Cars today are computers on wheels, and the technology is advancing rapidly. It takes a highly skilled technician — an engineer — who can properly service the paint and body, calibration and mechanics required to ensure the repair and safety of the vehicle. TechForce is honored to partner with CEP and Ford Fund to administer the Ford Fund scholarships.”
The Program is currently active at six schools across the U.S. including Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, Missouri; College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois; Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California; Collin College in Allen, Texas; Texas State Technical College in Waco, Texas; and Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. The seventh school that will be opened through the Ford Fund’s support will be announced in the coming months.
For more information about the Collision Engineering Program, visit www.beacollisionengineer.com.
Enterprise Holdings, Inc. is a leading provider of mobility solutions, owning and operating the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands through its integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries. Enterprise Holdings and its affiliates offer extensive car rental, carsharing, truck rental, fleet management, and retail car sales, as well as travel management and other transportation services, to make travel easier and more convenient for customers. Privately held by the Taylor family of St. Louis, Mo., Enterprise Holdings manages a diverse fleet of more than 2.1 million vehicles through a network of over 10,000 fully staffed neighborhood and airport rental locations in more than 90 countries and territories.
As the automaker’s philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund has been supporting local communities for more than 70 years. Working with nonprofit organizations, community partners, and across the Ford network in the U.S. and in 43 countries, Ford Fund provides resources and opportunities that advance racial equity and empower people to reach their highest potential. Since 1949, Ford and Ford Fund have invested more than $2.2 billion in initiatives that ensure basic needs are met, provide access to essential services, offer tools to build new skillsets, and open pathways to high-quality jobs.
TechForce Foundation is a national nonprofit, 501(c)(3) with the mission to champion all students to and through their education and into careers as professional technicians. TechForce powers the technician workforce by awarding more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants annually to financially-disadvantaged students; changes perceptions towards this evolving, ‘new collar’ STEM career; and provides local career exploration and workforce development programming. TechForce’s online, social network of students, working technicians, instructors, employers, industry professionals and enthusiasts committed to championing the technician workforce is the conduit through which the charity delivers its free resources, programs and career hub for the benefit of aspiring technicians. For more information, visit techforce.org. Follow us on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.