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Monday, 31 March 2014 00:00

Texas State Technical College Harlingen Honored for Winning Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Grant

On December 3, 2013, members of the school, industry, and press gathered at the Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Harlingen to celebrate their Collision Repair Education Foundation Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Grant, sponsored by Tony Aquila, president and CEO of Solera, the parent company for AudaExplore. Through the grant, the TSTC Harlingen Autobody Collision Technology program received $50,000 in tools, equipment, and supplies to improve the collision repair facility and the technical education of current and future collision students.


At the celebration, speakers included those from the school administration, collision instructors, Collision Repair Education Foundation staff, collision students, and AudaExplore representatives. The attendees also had the opportunity to tour the new program and see the products that were received as a result of this grant.

“Through Tony and Solera’s sponsored makeover grant, we were able to transform the TSTC collision program and provide the instructor with needed items,” noted Collision Repair Education Foundation executive director Clark Plucinski. “As many schools have limited budgets, these types of grants assist in the collision students graduating with the skill sets needed to be productive and efficient entry-level staff. We thank AudaExplore for their continued support and helping us transform collision school programs around the country.”

“This grant was made possible thanks to Tony Aquila, Solera’s founder and CEO,” said Rick Tuuri, vice president of industry relations for AudaExplore. “Tony started out in this industry sweeping floors in a shop and is now the founder, president, and CEO of Solera, a multibillion dollar, global organization. He is truly grateful for his success and the opportunities afforded him by the industry over the years. Giving back is in his DNA, and this is one way that he has made a difference for so many.”

Industry members that are looking to support high school and college collision school programs, instructors, and students should email Brandon Eckenrode at the Collision Repair Education Foundation or call him at 1-847-463-5244.

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