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  • May 31, 2023
  • 5 Minute Read
Press Release

National MSO Crash Champions Sponsoring Collision Engineering Program Talent at College of Lake County

"It Takes an Industry to Raise a Technician"

The industry-leading Collision Engineering Program (CEP) has announced a new partnership with Crash Champions, one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing collision repair multi-shop operators (MSO), to sponsor eight CEP students from College of Lake County (CLC) in Grayslake, Ill. Using the apprenticeship model founded by Enterprise Holdings Foundation and Ranken Technical College, CEP students will apprentice at local Crash Champions repair centers throughout their two-year program, working alongside and learning from professional mentors in the industry.

As part of CEP’s emphasis on collaboration between schools and industry, students gain real-world experience from the very beginning of their program with eight-week rotations between lab or classroom instruction and apprenticeships at local collision repair centers.

"The growing demand for highly-trained collision repair technicians is well documented," Crash Champions Founder & CEO Matt Ebert said. "That’s why we’re determined to invest in the next generation of skilled technicians and partnering with CEP is a creative opportunity to expand those pathways. We believe in the apprenticeship model, and this is just another step forward in our overall vision to invest in the future of the industry."

With a growing network of more than 600 high-quality collision repair centers across the country, Crash Champions understands the need to invest in building a proven pipeline of talent and is committed to doing its part to address the demand. While this is the first time Crash Champions is sponsoring CEP students, both organizations are eager to expand the partnership to other CEP schools across the country.

"Schools don’t just need employers, we need partners," College of Lake County Automotive Collision Repair Instructor Octavio Cavazos said. "It takes an industry to raise a technician, and it’s about so much more than just giving our students a place to work. It’s a long-term commitment to being a mentor and guiding new collision engineers throughout their journey."


Crash Champions has committed to sponsor CLC students for the full two years of the program, as they rotate every eight weeks between the classroom and collision repair centers while earning their associate degree. As part of CEP’s earn-while-you-learn model, students will receive a rising hourly wage for their work with Crash Champions. The goal is that the apprenticeships turn into full-time jobs after graduation.

"Short-staffed collision repair centers are feeling the effects of the skills gap and talent shortage every day," Enterprise Holdings Vice President Mary Mahoney said. "This new partnership with Crash Champions shows how we can make a real difference when the industry comes together. This is an amazing opportunity for our students to gain on-the-job training to prepare them for a career after graduation, a model that is critical to building a pipeline of qualified collision engineers for the future."

The first group of CLC students began their apprenticeships with Crash Champions in March, after completing their first eight weeks of classroom instruction that began in January. In addition to the College of Lake County, the Collision Engineering Program is active at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, Mo.; Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Calif.; Collin College in Allen, Texas; Texas State Technical College in Waco, Texas; Parkland College in Champaign, Ill.; and Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb.

Click here for more information about the Collision Engineering Program.

About Enterprise Holdings

Enterprise Holdings is a leading provider of mobility solutions including car rental, fleet management, carsharing, vanpooling, truck rental, luxury rental, retail car sales and vehicle subscription, as well as travel management and other transportation technology services and solutions, to make travel easier and more convenient for customers. Enterprise Holdings’ subsidiaries and franchisees, together with its affiliate, Enterprise Fleet Management, manage a diverse fleet of 2.1 million vehicles through an integrated network of more than 10,000 fully staffed neighborhood and airport rental locations in more than 90 countries and territories. Privately held by the Taylor family of St. Louis, Enterprise Holdings manages the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo brands.

About the Collision Engineering Program

The Collision Engineering Program (CEP) is an immersive apprenticeship training model aimed at developing a new generation of highly skilled, motivated and passionate collision repair professionals. Partnering with schools across the country, CEP facilitates an innovative and holistic training approach that brings together industry and education to provide sustainable pathways to rewarding careers in the industry. Participants in CEP benefit from a combination of industry-defined courses, certifications and hands-on training that enables them to build their knowledge while accelerating their careers.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes in 2019 and is a national leader in many areas, including campus internationalization, sustainability and conservation.

About Crash Champions

Crash Champions is the largest founder-led multi-shop operator (MSO) of high-quality collision repair service in the U.S., serving customers and business partners at more than 600 state-of-the-art repair centers in 36 states across the U.S. The company was founded in 1999 as a single Chicago repair center by industry veteran and 2022 MSO Executive of the Year Matt Ebert.