Texas State Technical College-Harlingen wins makeover grant

March 4, 2014
Texas State Technical College-Harlingen won the CREF Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant, sponsored by Solera.
On Dec. 3, members of the school, industry and press gathered at Texas State Technical College-Harlingen to celebrate their Collision Repair Education Foundation Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant, sponsored by Tony Aquila, President and CEO of Solera, the parent company for AudaExplore. Through the Makeover grant, the school program received $50,000 in tools, equipment, 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, 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 TSTC’s 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, VP 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 multi-billion 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 contact Brandon Eckenrode at the Collision Repair Education Foundation at [email protected] or at 847.463.5244.

The Collision Repair Education Foundation, founded in 1991, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to securing donations that support philanthropic and collision repair education activities that promote and enhance career opportunities in the industry. For information on how to donate to programs supported by the Education Foundation visit us online at:


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