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Tennessee colleges gifted damaged Audis for training

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Announcements | Collision Repair | Education
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Tennessee collision repair students can put their developing skills to use on damaged Audis donated by the Volkswagen Group of America.

The 2022 Audis, which have different levels of body damage ranging from minor to extensive, were donated to the Tennessee College of Applied Technology’s (TCAT) Chattanooga, Crossville, Livingston, Morristown and Knoxville campuses.

Volkswagen told Repairer Driven News that the vehicles were damaged in transit and are among a larger number of vehicles being gifted to schools across the nation.

It said the eight Audis donated at TCAT’s Crossville campus were gifted in addition to 68 other vehicles being donated to collision repair programs in Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas.

“The donated Audi and Volkswagen vehicles were damaged during shipping to the point that they could no longer be sold to customers,” said Elizabeth Pittinger, a Volkswagen spokeswoman. “Upon evaluation, a group of Audi and Volkswagen employees knew this wasn’t the end for these vehicles as they were still functioning and intact. Months of planning, coordinating, and reviews among this dedicated group of Audi and Volkswagen employees, CREF, and schools resulted in the donation of these vehicles to automotive training programs throughout the country.”

Once the vehicles are no longer valuable to classrooms, she said schools will then pass them off to local first responders who can use them for further training.

“First responders look for the latest equipment to use during training, allowing them to learn the cut points and other hazards when conducting extrication drills. The remains will then be sent off for recycling.”

More than a dozen vehicles will be sent to TCAT campuses throughout the state, Cris Perkins, associate vice chancellor of strategic advancement for the Tennessee Board of Regents told RDN.

He said the vehicles are valuable to both automotive collision repair and traditional automotive repair programs.

“These are valuable because these are newer vehicles with the latest technology that keep our students up to date with all of the latest advancement in automotive technology in their training,” he said. “Our foundation for the college system of Tennessee has grown tremendously over the past couple of years in cash and equipment donation, [however] a donation like this of so many vehicles is a little different. It is perfect for us as we encompass so many TCATs across Tennessee.”

Perkins said the vehicles donated to TCAT will be used for training by students for the next several years. He added that they cannot be used on the road, and are designed specifically for educational purposes.

“It is our hope that we can continue this relationship with the amazing folks with both the Collision Repair Education Foundation and Volkswagen Group of America to continue providing the necessary tools and equipment for our students to be prepared entering the workforce,” he said.

Ian Leavy, Volkswagen assistant general council, told the Crossville Chronicle that the OEM made the donation to help improve the talent pool of repairers who will be working on its vehicles.

“We’re glad to make something good out of something that was initially not so good,” Leavy said. “We’re big partners with the state of Tennessee and the educational resources we have. I’m with the factory [in Chattanooga], and workforce development is one of our main priorities. TCAT has been a big partner of ours over the years.”


Featured image: Participants of a Volkswagen vehicle donation at Tennessee College of Applied Technologies’ Crossville campus are pictured. (Provided by Cris Perkins)

Secondary image courtesy of Volkswagen

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