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Audatex, CCC and Mitchell provide 500-plus collision schools with free subscriptions through CREF

In 2021, software subscriptions valued at nearly $10 million were donated to collision repair educational programs across the U.S.

Hoffman Estates, Ill.—In 2021, software subscriptions valued at nearly $10 million were donated to more than 500 schools’ collision repair educational programs across the United States. Year after year, Audatex, CCC, and Mitchell partner with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) to support secondary and post-secondary students by donating software subscriptions.

“Due to very limited funding, collision schools cannot always afford to purchase the latest programs and technologies for students to learn on,” said CREF Director of Operations and Impact Melissa Marscin. “Thanks to Audatex, CCC and Mitchell, these schools are able to teach their students on the same program that they’re likely to encounter after graduation, ultimately making them better entry-level employees.”

CREF Managing Director Brandon Eckenrode added, “The Foundation thanks Audatex for the continued support of the industry’s pre-employment education system. The ability to learn on current technology as a student has been proven to drive career success when these young people join the workforce.”

Audatex’s software donations are part of the company’s collaboration with the Foundation on the Audatex Educational Institutions Program, which also provides eligible schools with access to online courses and training, a custom curriculum that includes CEUs and I-CAR points, and technical support. This partnership has provided Audatex estimating software to nearly 300 school collision repair programs in 41 states, a number that increases each year. To qualify for the Audatex Educational Institutions Program, technical schools in the United States and Canada offering a collision repair program must complete the Educational Institutions Program contact form found at Audatex.us.  

CCC, a founding member of CREF, has helped tens of thousands of students from more than 500 schools through its donations of software, onsite and virtual training, and technical support services, delivered at no cost to the students or schools. The CCC ONE Estimating software package donated by CCC includes digital imaging capabilities, access to tire and recall databases, paintless dent repair guidelines, and frame specifications, along with other products and multi-user access. It also grants access to CCC Repair Methods and CCC ONE Touch, CCC’s mobile estimating solution that allows estimates to be written right at the car.

Mitchell’s contribution to CREF includes free access to Mitchell Cloud Estimating with Integrated Repair Procedures for students enrolled in participating schools. The advanced estimating software works seamlessly with Mitchell’s cloud-based product suite — giving future collision repairers essential training on technologies designed to efficiently manage workflows and support the delivery of proper, safe repairs. Using Mitchell solutions, students also learn the importance of OEM repair procedures as they diagnose collision damage and develop repair plans for today’s most complex vehicles.  

Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs should contact Eckenrode at 312-231-0258 or Brandon.Eckenrode@ed-foundation.org. Monetary donations can be made online.


The Collision Repair Education Foundation, founded in 1991, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting collision repair educational programs, schools, and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities. For information on how to donate to programs supported by the Education Foundation, visit us online at: www.CollisionEducationFoundation.org.

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