Student Auto Technicians Show Off Their Skills To Win $6 Million In Scholarships And Prizes in FORD/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition

Washington, D.C. – 6/16/2003

The 100 best high school automotive technicians from each state will go head to head in the national finals of the FORD/AAA Student Auto Skills competition, held on June 24 in Washington, D.C. The contestants are competing for more than $6 million in scholarships and prizes.

“While many high school and college graduates are still trying to determine a career path, the students participating in this contest are already some of the most talented automotive professionals in the country,” said James Dunst, Auto Skills contest manager. “They’re eager to prove themselves, and we’re thrilled to give them a venue to showcase their skills.”

The Student Auto Skills competition draws more than 6,000 students nationwide. More than 50 2003 Ford vehicles will be deliberately and identically bugged and lined up south of the Lincoln Memorial for this hands-on test of high-tech auto repair.

Students participating in the national finals have been offered scholarship money toward their choice of Ford training programs – ASSET (Automotive Student Service Educational Training) or FACT (Ford Accelerated Credential Training). Both programs offer participants the opportunity to earn Ford credentials while participating in training that will prepare them for a solid career.

At a time when employment opportunities are limited in some professions, there is an estimated shortage of 60,000 trained service and repair technicians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 1998, there were 790,000 automotive technicians employed nationwide. By 2008, there are expected to be positions for 922,000 automotive technicians, many of which will require advanced technical knowledge.

“Skilled, trained automotive technicians are quickly becoming scarce resources, not only in our country, but around the world as well,” Dunst said. “With this program, we hope to fill that need and encourage young people to make this lucrative field their career.”

Contest activities begin at 7:45 a.m., with the competition beginning at 9:15 a.m. and concluding at 10:45 a.m. The winners will be announced at approximately 11:30 a.m.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides its members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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