Local News March 2012

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11TH Annual Golf Tournament

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Help Your Local School's Auto Body Program Win $50,000

The Collision Repair Education Foundation is now in the process of collecting applications for its Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant program. Now in its fourth year, the grant program is a unique, industry supported initiative that directly benefits school collision repair programs. And if the fourth year is anything like the first three, it's not just the winning schools that benefit.

In prior years, not only did the winning school receive far more than the $50,000 value of the grant, but every school that simply applied for the grant received industry support. That's because when the Foundation receives in-kind product and monetary donations throughout the year, the schools that applied for the makeover grant are the first ones to which the Foundation turns to distribute the donated tools, supplies and equipment.

The "Ultimate Collision Education Makeover" grant debuted in 2009 when Steel Center Area Vocational Technical School (Jefferson Hills, PA) was chosen as the recipient of the award. In 2010, the award went to Bridgerland Applied Technology College (Logan, UT) and in 2011, Applied Technology Center (Rock Hill, SC).

The goal of the "Ultimate Collision Education Makeover" grant is to honor a school that has been doing an outstanding job in educating students in collision repair, but needs some financial assistance to improve their program's teaching materials and equipment.

The winner is selected by a selection committee composed of members of the Education Foundation Board of Trustees and the winner will be announced at SEMA 2012.

If you have a secondary or post-secondary technical school or college near you that has a collision repair program, you could be responsible for helping them win the $50,000 grant. Through the grant application, the school provides an itemized wish list of its needs, and it is these lists that the Foundation uses to seek out industry donors to provide the requested items for the schools. Whether it's new tools, equipment or supplies, this grant will enhance your schools' ability to instruct the next generation of collision repair technicians.

Applications for the Education Foundation's 2012 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant are available online. The winning school's collision program will have their $50,000 wish list fulfilled and more.

Only those schools that apply have the opportunity to win. Submitted applications must be postmarked by August 31, 2012. Instructors are strongly advised to begin the application early due to the required information.

The online application is available here

9th Annual Hertz Golf Outing


Right to Repair Massachusetts Ballot Measure Now Before State Legislature

The Right to Repair ballot measure in Massachusetts was officially introduced into the state legislature on Jan. 17 as H. 3882. Under the state’s constitution, ballot measures that have obtained the necessary number of voter signatures are submitted to the state legislature for consideration. Legislators now have until May 2 to take action on the bill and therefore negate the need for the issue to be on the November 2012 ballot. On Jan. 4, 2012, the Secretary of the Commonwealth certified that the Right to Repair ballot measure had obtained 83,180 signatures, well above the 76,000 needed to be on the ballot. Should the legislature not take any action, ballot measure supporters would need to submit to the secretary approximately 11,000 additional signatures in July to qualify for the November ballot.

Unlike the Right to Repair bills introduced in the past that simply required access to the same information and tools provided dealers, the Massachusetts ballot measure also requires that repair shops be able to access the same diagnostic and repair capabilities provided to new car dealers by using a generic laptop and connecting to the vehicle through a standardized interface. Passage of the ballot measure would mean that by 2015, an independent shop would be able to obtain all diagnostic and repair capabilities through an hourly, daily, monthly or yearly subscription to the car company repair and diagnostic site; and would only need to purchase one interface tool that would work on all makes and models.

H. 3882 was referred to the Joint Committee for Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. A hearing date for the legislation has yet to be scheduled at this time. Additional information on the Right to Repair legislation and ballot measure in Massachusetts can be found here.