During the week of June 10, 2013, over 100 of the best young automotive minds will came to Dearborn, Michigan to compete in the National Finals for the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition. Celebrating its 64th year, the event came at a time of rapid expansion in the automotive sector. According to Bureau of Labor statistics, jobs in the automotive industry are up 30 percent since April 2012. This is great news high school students with a passion for fixing cars and a drive to embark on a career as an automotive technician.
So how does it work? Prior to the upcoming competition, over 13,000 interested high school juniors and seniors took part in a challenging online exam meant to determine their automotive expertise. From that group, teams comprised of the two top automotive students and their instructor from each of the 50 states were identified and selected to compete against each other in a series of written exams and hands-on challenges. During the skill demonstration portion of the competition, each team raced against the clock to identify and fix pre-installed “bugs” on identical 2013 Ford Explorer SUVs.
In addition to the bragging rights of being crowned the top high school automotive technician in the country, millions of dollars in scholarships and prizes are at stake for the students that will participate. The winning team will also get the chance to spend a week with 2011 Daytona 500 winner and Ford Racing driver Trevor Bayne. Who took top honors this year? The duo of Logan Boyle and Cody Collins from Vale High School in Vale, Ore. claimed the crown of America’s top auto technicians, registering the day’s top score under the guidance of instructor Drew Barnes.
Trevor and the rest of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team will welcome the champions for a week-long immersion leading up to the Coke Zero 400. During that time, the winning team will get the chance to learn from the Woods Brothers Racing Team and serve as an honorary pit crew member during the race.
“The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition is a great opportunity for thousands of students across the country who really love working on cars and want to get into the industry,” says Trevor. “I’m excited to see these national champions because this will really help them see that while they may be young, they can work on the world’s best cars themselves. And hey, who knows, I could end up seeing these students on our pit crew one day!”
Are you an automotive technician? How did you get started? Inspire the next generation by sharing your story with Ford Social today! Click here for more information on how to get involved in future Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competitions.