DATE: September 18, 2018
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
CATEC’s Auto Body Tech Students in Good Hands With Allstate’s Donation of a Kia Sorento That Will Generate Valuable Returns for Students and School
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Hands-on, practical learning experiences are at the core of preparing students at the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) for post-graduate success, and this week, auto body students are taking on a new project that advances that mission.
Allstate and the Collision Repair Education Foundation have selected CATEC as the recipient of a 2011 Kia Sorento, which will be delivered to the school tomorrow at 11 a.m. The SUV is being 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,” she said.
Last month, 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,” he added.
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, says 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.