Allstate and the Collision Repair Education Foundation selected CATEC as the recipient of a 2011 Kia Sorento, which was delivered to the school Sept. 19. The SUV was donated to the school’s auto body technology program and will be restored by students. CATEC plans on selling the car and investing the proceeds back into the program.
“We are so grateful to Allstate and to the foundation for providing such an authentic learning opportunity and to Brown Collision Center for transporting the car to our school,” said CATEC Director Dr. Daphne Keiser. “Our instructional model is based on programs that enable students to gain marketable skills in industries that need highly qualified professionals right now. This gift will pay dividends for our students as they make the career choices that best fit their interests.”
In August, CATEC received a $50,000 grant from the state of Virginia to add a youth apprenticeship program in the building trades.
“Allstate is an advocate of inspiring the next generation of leaders. Whether they are bringing goodness to their communities through volunteerism or striving to achieve their goals, today’s youths are changing the world we live in and making it a better place,” said Allstate’s Mike Nguyen. “We are excited to be a CATEC partner and for this opportunity to inspire students to keep on learning.”
Auto body technology is among the most popular programs at CATEC and offers immediate placement into a profession with starting hourly wages between $15 and $17 per hour. Eventually, auto body technicians can earn annual salaries exceeding $50,000.
Shannon Tomlin, CATEC’s career resource coordinator, said the Allstate donation will enhance the ability of students to build confidence and optimism in their skills and strengthen their leadership and problem-solving strategies, all in a team environment.
She noted the role of auto body technology students last year in the development of the school’s traveling food bus, Technical Eats, as an example of how students are using their academic interests and hands-on abilities to generate value.
“This is yet another opportunity for students to succeed in a project that closely resembles the experiences of well-trained professionals in the marketplace. That’s very consistent with our objective of developing close working partnerships with our business community,” she said.