Don’t just take our word for it! Hear how RPM Foundation is working to support the next generation of automotive and marine restoration & preservation craftsmen and artisans in these testimonials from students, donors, grant recipients, shop owners and educators.
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Diane Fitzgerald and the RPM Foundation have been instrumental to my success both within the Restoration Program at McPherson College and outside of it. I have had the distinct pleasure of working with RPM foundation during my internship at LeMay – America’s Car Museum, as a recipient of scholarship funds throughout my college experience, and utilizing them as a continued resource as I seek post-graduation employment.
During my time at McPherson College, it has been a pleasure to not only grow as an individual, but feel invested in as a student and future member of this industry. Behind me stands the RPM Foundation, its donors, industry leaders, our teachers, my friends and my family. As I near graduation, I think about my many experiences and opportunities the RPM Foundation has led me to and think about the many students they are touching in programs around the country and the pathways they are creating through relationships with shop owners in industry professionals.
The RPM Foundation is paving the way to creating talented, young and excited stewards of an industry I’m so thankful to be a part of. Through a foundation of building relationships, creating pathways and generating lines of communication between industry leaders and developing new talent, I see some very exciting things to come!
Automotive Restoration Technology
Expected Graduation – May 2017
McPherson College | McPherson, KS
As someone on the front lines of preserving our automotive history, one of my toughest jobs is to find qualified, passionate individuals to work on the array of classic and antique cars we are entrusted to care for. We as a community are currently lacking real “incentive” or “aspirational goals” for students and individuals that may have an inclination towards this vocation or love classic cars but never knew a career in automotive restoration existed or was viable.
The RPM Foundation is the group establishing the platforms and career paths so the right people are not only supported, but are empowered to pursue this path for a career. That is why I support them not only by volunteering my time, but also by pledging a multi-year donation to “put my money where my mouth is”!
The Creative Workshop | Dania Beach, FL
The work that is being done by the RPM Foundation to connect young people to meaningful careers through their love of automobiles is important. From the events and programs they host that engage young people to the funding they provide to high school and college-level programs, the RPM Foundation is actively engaged in ensuring the skills and craftsmanship of the past are transferred to a new generation.
VP for Automotive Restoration
McPherson College | McPherson, KS
We were very impressed with the good work of the RPM Foundation, and its history of making a difference in automotive restoration education, when we first met its president in 2015. With our shared values and philosophy, it didn’t take us long to feel certain that this organization deserved our support – and would appreciate our desire to be hands-on donors.
We made a donation and created a fundraising challenge – that doubled our gift and the potential impact to young people aspiring for a career in restoration! In the year since making our donation, RPM has repeatedly proven that our gift was one of the best investments we’ve ever made!
We’ve had hands-on connecting with them to know that their energetic pursuit of the next generation of craftsmen and artisans and deep commitment to providing solutions and opportunities are transforming the education-to-shop environment. Their collaborative efforts with students, schools, teachers, parents and shops are changing the ways we think about automotive restoration as a career path. The RPM Foundation has a winning formula – and a passionate, pace-setting team – that is driving their success! We’re glad they’re in the driver’s seat of this venture!
Lisa & John Weinberger
Continental Motors Group
After two years of encouraging Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT) to reopen their auto body class and after a presentation by the RPM Foundation at the school, the administration approved starting an after-school auto restoration club. RPM President Diane Fitzgerald was my first call when I learned about ACIT’s closing their body program. She gave me encouragement, ideas and contacts immediately.
The future of the automotive industry is full of potential and young people are interested. In fact, a group of 30 students signed up to stay after school and attend the first club meeting in November. We’re calling it C.A.R. Club – Collector Automotive Restoration Club! The RPM Foundation has been active and instrumental partners throughout the community-building and program-creating process, and I am grateful for their services and dedication.
Truman Muscle Car Parts | Egg Harbor Township, NJ
I became acquainted with Diane Fitzgerald, President of the RPM Foundation (then the Hagerty Education Program) through their internship program. We at Kip Motor Company had hired their first intern, Ryan Levesque, to work in our restoration shop. While following up on Ryan’s references with Ms. Fitzgerald, I learned of the mission of the RPM Foundation. I have been in this industry for forty-one years. The need to pass on knowledge of restoration skills to our youth has always been a passion of mine.
Thanks to Diane, I was able to become involved with East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, AZ. There, I saw the passion of the RPM Foundation at work as we made the business case for a restoration curriculum at the school. I’m happy to say that the program was approved and we are now busy preparing the program for launch.
The RPM Foundation is a catalyst to bring automotive restoration to the forefront in both education and business. They help institutions of higher learning incorporate restoration curriculums into their automotive programs and help restoration shops expand and grow. You cannot do better than to assist them with your time and resources.
Restoration Shop Manager
Kip Motor Company | Dallas, TX
Pennsylvania College of Technology is grateful to RPM Foundation President Diane Fitzgerald and members of the RPM Foundation Board for their ongoing interest and support of the Pennsylvania College Automotive Restoration major and the students who are enrolled. RPM played an integral role when the major was established four years ago by providing the seed money needed for the purchase of equipment to be used for instructional purposes. Since then, they have continued to support our students through scholarships and funding for internship opportunities.
Diane has been instrumental in connecting Penn College with shop owners, hobbyists, teachers, and prospective students and their parents. The enthusiasm and passion exhibited by Diane and the RPM Foundation for the antique and classic car industry has been an important part of the growth of the Automotive Restoration major at Penn College and we sincerely appreciate all that RPM has done to contribute to our success.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Pennsylvania College of Technology | Williamsport, PA