ECMC Foundation | December 21, 2021
The Collision Engineering Program has received a $700,000 grant from ECMC Foundation to support the growth and expansion of the industry-leading program's efforts. With foundational support provided by the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, the program is designed to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill essential roles within the collision repair industry and enhance retention and advancement among collision repair technicians.With nearly 100,000 new entrant collision technicians needed between 2021 and 2025, according to the TechForce Foundation, the Collision Engineering Program addresses the ongoing industry technician shortage and skills gap. Collision repair businesses are facing unprecedented challenges in growing and sustaining their workforce as baby boomers retire and demand outpaces a declining supply of postsecondary collision technician entrants. At the same time, automotive technology is rapidly changing, requiring skill sets to evolve for those who repair vehicles.
The program replicates Ranken Technical College's unique two-year apprenticeship model at schools across the United States, preparing students for success by treating them as professionals from day one. Students gain real-world education working alongside industry experts while also earning their associate degree. Currently, the program is in its second year of a two-year pilot at four schools across the country—Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, Missouri; College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois; Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California; and Texas State Technical College in Waco, Texas.
"We're excited about the innovative, five-semester associate degree Collision Engineering Program at Ranken Technical College which employs an eight-week rotation between on-campus coursework and paid work-based learning, We're proud to support a program that seeks to address the need for a skilled and diverse collision technician workforce and believe this unique institution-led, earn-and-learn model will serve as a valuable blueprint for institutions looking to implement work-based learning programs."
-Jennifer Zeisler, Career Readiness Senior Program Director, ECMC Foundation
The grant from ECMC Foundation will support phase two of the Collision Engineering Program. Phase one focused on piloting the program at four schools across the country. Phase two will build upon the efforts of the pilot program, establishing at least four additional partner colleges over the next three years. ECMC Foundation's contribution will provide startup costs to launch the program at partner colleges, enable the program to hire additional staff and provide continued support for existing partner colleges.
We're tremendously proud that our model has been recognized as the gold standard for connecting hands-on industry experience with education," said Don Pohl, President of Ranken Technical College. "The Collision Engineering Program helps partnering institutions adjust to the rapid pace of vehicle innovation and connectivity and brings meaningful training to students. This support from ECMC Foundation will allow the program to expand its reach and impact nationwide.
Since the pilot launched earlier this year, the Collision Engineering Program has also received contributions from Chief Collision Technology and Mitchell International. Chief Collision Technology, one of the world's largest manufacturers of high-quality collision repair products and services, is providing a MULTIMIG Aluminum Welder—valued at $12,000—to the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. The machine, used widely across the repair industry, will provide students with in-depth knowledge and experience working with real-world equipment.
Mitchell International, an Enlyte company and leading technology and information provider for the P&C claims and collision repair industries, is offering its full suite of repair solutions to each of the four participating schools. The in-kind donation—valued at $150,000—includes Mitchell Cloud Estimating with Integrated Repair Procedures, Mitchell TechAdvisor and its OEM-licensed repair data, and the Mitchell Diagnostics platform for scanning and calibration. These solutions are designed to help technicians efficiently diagnose, estimate and repair collision-damaged vehicles, improving customer and carrier satisfaction. With Mitchell's innovative technology and the Collision Engineering Program's advanced education, graduates entering the workforce are well-equipped to properly and safely repair today's complex automobiles.
"As the world's largest car rental provider, we have a responsibility to invest in the future of the automotive repair industry—a future that's at stake due to the ongoing skills and labor shortage,With our partners' support, we're working to increase awareness of this career path and build successful and skilled collision repair technicians through the Collision Engineering Program. It's so encouraging to see how the industry is collaborating to make a meaningful impact on the future of the automotive repair workforce and industry. We hope others will continue to step forward and join us in this endeavor."
-Mary Mahoney, Vice President, Replacement and Leisure Division at Enterprise Holdings
About Enterprise Holdings
Enterprise Holdings, Inc. is a leading provider of mobility solutions, owning and operating the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands through its integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries. Enterprise Holdings and its affiliates offer extensive car rental, carsharing, truck rental, fleet management, retail car sales, as well as travel management and other transportation services, to make travel easier and more convenient for customers. Privately held by the Taylor family of St. Louis, Mo., Enterprise Holdings manages a diverse fleet of more than 1.85 million vehicles through a network of nearly 10,000 fully staffed neighborhood and airport rental locations in more than 90 countries and territories.
About ECMC Foundation
ECMC Foundation is a Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation with a mission to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations—through evidence-based innovation. It is one of several affiliates under ECMC Group (www.ecmcgroup.org) enterprise based in Minneapolis. ECMC Foundation makes investments in two focus areas: College Success and Career Readiness; and uses a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to invest in both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Working with grantees, partners and peers, ECMC Foundation's vision is for all learners to unlock their fullest potential.
Procore | May 25, 2022
Procore Technologies Inc. a leading global provider of construction management software, announced a new partnership with Shepherd, a startup insurtech based in San Francisco, to begin offering an integrated insurance product that provides improved insurance terms and lower premiums to qualified Procore customers.
"Procore’s platform, integrations, data and analytics enable our customers to run safer and more profitable businesses, However, contractors are not typically rewarded by insurance markets for making these risk-reducing investments. And, insurance is one of the biggest costs that our customers are trying to manage. Our partnership with Shepherd offers our customers the insurance coverage they deserve."
Tooey Courtemanche, Founder, President and CEO of Procore
Shepherd’s mission is to create a safe and sustainable construction industry by providing innovative insurance products to general and specialty contractors which incentivizes the use of technology on job sites. As a Procore portfolio company and App Marketplace partner, Shepherd is offering qualified Procore customers underwriting credits in order to lower premiums, endorsing the idea that technology reduces risk in construction. This program is called Casualty Pro, and starts with Excess Liability, Shepherd’s current product offering. The company plans to expand this program alongside bringing new casualty products to market.
A sample analysis of Procore contractors found that the experience modification rates (EMR), which are a standardized metric used in determining worker’s compensation premiums, for the top quartile of general contractors on the platform outperformed those of their peers by 21 percent on average. The same study also saw positive correlation and an average EMR decrease from the time when a contractor adopted Procore to their 2022 results.
Similarly, Procore’s recent 2022 Customer Return On Investment (ROI) report, users reported significant benefits in the following areas: safety, quality, efficiency and risk.
Safer Jobsites: 79 percent of customer respondents that use Quality and Safety tools agree Procore has improved their company’s safety programs.
Improved Efficiency: Customer respondents reported saving an average of 15 days on the overall schedule on a typical project.
80 percent of customer respondents agree they have more protection in a litigation scenario with the data they are tracking/capturing with Procore
"At Shepherd we're determined to align the contractor - insurance carrier relationship in new ways. We believe strongly in the power of Procore's platform and the positive impact Procore tools have on jobsite safety, risk management, and loss control. Innovative insurance products, such as Casualty Pro, allow us to underwrite using more inputs and provide opportunities to credit contractors who've adopted the best construction technologies." - Justin Levine, co-founder, chief executive officer of Shepherd Underwriting.
"We're introducing Procore usage as a new category in Shepherd's underwriting process because we believe in the positive benefits of the platform on day-to-day risk management and loss control on job sites. We hope this partnership benefits clients who have already taken the important step of implementing technology solutions across their project portfolios," said Steve Buonpane, co-founder, chief insurance officer at Shepherd.
The Casualty Pro program is optional for Procore customers and does not guarantee lower premiums. All submissions are subject to underwriting review prior to formal quotations.
Shepherd is a tech-enabled managing general underwriter providing casualty insurance for middle market commercial construction. Their mission is to make construction safe and sustainable through innovative insurance products. To learn more about Shepherd, visit their website at www.withshepherd.com
Procore is a leading global provider of construction management software. Over one million projects and more than $1 trillion USD in construction volume have run on Procore's platform. Procore’s platform connects key project stakeholders to solutions Procore has built specifically for the construction industry—for the owner, the general contractor, and the specialty contractor. Procore's App Marketplace has a multitude of partner solutions that integrate seamlessly with Procore’s platform, giving construction professionals the freedom to connect with what works best for them. Headquartered in Carpinteria, California, Procore has offices in the United States, Canada and around the globe.
Watchmaker Genomics | June 06, 2022
Watchmaker Genomics, a life sciences company specializing in the development of high-stringency applications focused on the reading, writing, and editing of DNA and RNA, announced it had secured $40 million in an oversubscribed Series A, bringing total funding to date to $53.5 million. The round was led by Decheng Capital, with co-investment from Eclipse Ventures.
Founded in 2019, Watchmaker established an enzyme engineering technology platform that leverages recent advances in computational design and directed evolution. The founding team has deep domain expertise in next-generation sequencing (NGS) and clinical oncology assay development and a track record of building successful life science companies, notably Kapa Biosystems, Enzymatics, and ArcherDx. The company launched its first product in 2020 and has since achieved profitability with 175% year-over-year revenue growth. With this Series A round of financing, Watchmaker plans to accelerate investment in its protein engineering platform to deliver a suite of new products that address the demands of clinical sequencing and support emerging applications in single-cell analysis, epigenetics, and cell-free DNA. In addition, the company will expand commercial channels and manufacturing capacity, making these product solutions more broadly accessible to the life science and genomics communities.
"We are thrilled to partner with Watchmaker Genomics as the company enters its next phase of product innovation and commercialization. The experienced team at Watchmaker has already built a strong foundation, and we look forward to supporting their continued growth," said Decheng Capital Partner Victor E. Tong, Jr., who is joining the Watchmaker Board of Directors.
"Watchmaker is developing tools and techniques that will unlock the future of genomics, both in the lab and the clinic. We are excited to partner with this world-class team as they pioneer the new frontier of genomics and ultimately, significantly improve how we treat diseases," said Eclipse Ventures Partner Justin Butler, who will join Watchmaker as a Board Observer.
The additional financing will enable Watchmaker to more quickly scale our organization to meet the explosive demands of the genomics industry and help to further realize our vision of more personalized medicine and improved human health. Decheng Capital is a leading investor in life science and sequencing, and we are excited to have the firm lead our Series A. Watchmaker, Decheng, and Eclipse share a passion for building market-leading, impactful companies, and we welcome Victor and Justin to join us."
Trey Foskett, CEO and Co-Founder of Watchmaker Genomics
This news builds on the company's previously announced collaborations with Twist Biosciences, Element Biosciences, Singular Genomics, and Molecular Loop. Watchmaker will be showcasing its DNA and RNA NGS solutions for clinically relevant sample types and applications at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) conference from June 6th - 9th in Orlando, FL.
About Watchmaker Genomics
Watchmaker Genomics applies advanced enzymology to enable breakthrough applications for the reading, writing, and editing of DNA and RNA. The company combines domain expertise in protein engineering with large-scale enzyme manufacturing to address the demanding quality, performance, and scale requirements of high-growth clinical genomics applications.
Watchmaker's product portfolio includes enzymes and kits for next-generation sequencing library preparation, synthetic biology, and molecular diagnostics. Based in Boulder, Colorado, the Watchmaker team brings decades of collective experience building successful life science companies, commercializing novel technologies, and advancing clinical genomics applications. Watchmaker partners directly with innovative life science companies, commercial sequencing providers, and pioneering research labs.
About DeCheng Capital
Decheng Capital, founded in 2012, is a leading investment firm providing capital and strategic support to early stage life science companies with revolutionary technologies and growth stage healthcare companies with a strong market presence. We are a group of dedicated professionals with complementary expertise who have outstanding track records of building highly successful companies globally. With over $2 billion in capital under management and support from some of the most prestigious LPs in the world, Decheng is poised to deliver superior returns for our investors and create value for our entrepreneur partners.
About Eclipse Ventures
With over $2 billion in assets under management, 70 portfolio companies, and a team of investors with deep expertise in technology, manufacturing, supply chain, logistics, healthcare and consumer products, Eclipse is one of the US' leading venture capital organizations. Its leadership team has the experience and deep expertise necessary to create and scale complex operations – with partners coming from industry giants, such as Flextronics, Tesla, Apple, Samsara, Intel and GE. Eclipse partners with entrepreneurs boldly transforming the essential industries that define and propel economies.
Infrastructure Engineering Inc | May 21, 2022
Infrastructure Engineering Inc. (IEI) has announced the promotion of Alex Kline, PE, to Indianapolis Office Operations Leader. In this role, Mr. Kline will oversee IEI's project and program management for our clients. He will also be responsible for leading all members of the Indianapolis team and spearheading business development efforts throughout the geographic market.
Alex originally joined IEI's Chicago office in June 2012 as a Design Engineer. After transferring to our Indianapolis office, Alex progressed in his career with a promotion to Project Engineer and then to Project Manager. Throughout his tenure with IEI, Alex has excelled at meeting client expectations and has played an integral role in creating a positive workplace culture in the Indy office.
"Alex is a key contributor to the success and growth that our Indianapolis office has experienced in recent years. He brings a wealth of experience to this role, having delivered several high-profile projects in his time at IEI. We are excited to have him lead the Indy office in its next phase,"
IEI President, Kashif Khan
A talented civil engineer, Mr. Kline received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana. His strong focus and commitment to distinguishing IEI through its people, performance and community activity will further enhance IEI's presence throughout the Indianapolis area.
About Infrastructure Engineering Inc.:
Infrastructure Engineering Inc. (IEI) is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm that focuses on the delivery of design engineering, program management, and construction engineering and inspection services. IEI cultivates various types of engineering projects from conception and planning through implementation. The firm's goal is to create sustainable infrastructure necessary to build and connect communities, improve quality of life, and encourage economic development. IEI is a DBE/MBE certified firm.