3M and the Collision Repair Education Foundation recently announced the first round of winners of the “Hire Our Heroes” Veteran Tool Grant. Gadsden State Community College student Edwin Thomas of Anniston was chosen among 59 student veterans from throughout the U.S. to receive the award. As a part of the grant, he was able to select $2,500 in auto body equipment. “Many tools in this industry are very expensive but are necessary when it comes to getting things done proficiently,” Thomas said. “This grant has given me the opportunity to get the tools that I need to do that and more.”
Thomas, a veteran of the United States Army, is certain that winning the “Hire Our Heroes” grant will help him move forward in his collision repair career and give him great advantages. “I have so much to learn and much experience to gain,” he said. “But with these tools, I am certain that I am on my way there.” Thomas is a student at the Ayers Campus and his instructor is Bruce Hill.
The “Hire Our Heroes” program is a collaborative effort between 3M, the Collision Repair Education Foundation, the National Auto Body Council and Operation Comfort. The program is designed to provide funding for education and drive employment in the collision repair industry for America’s returning veterans. The grant also helps cover tuition, books, classroom materials, and tools and equipment for returning veterans and their families. The ultimate goal of the 3M “Hire Our Heroes” campaign is to support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in raising awareness for hiring America’s heroes. The 3M campaign has a goal to donate up to $250,000 to veterans and their families.