On Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 20 high school students from across Utah will gather together to compete in the state Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition at the Miller Campus of Salt Lake Community College. Students, working in teams of two, will compete to successfully debug a 2015 Ford vehicle. The competition requires repairs to be made with the highest quality workmanship (in the lowest total time) within 90 minutes.
The qualifying process began in February with 276 Utah students, in 19 high schools, taking the Ford/AAA written exam in order to have the opportunity to compete in the state hands-on competition. Those students scoring the highest participate in the hands-on competition. The exam includes 50 questions (10 each) in the following five areas:
- Environmental and generic safety practices
- Steering suspension and brakes
- Engine performance
- Power train (engine to drive wheels)
The ten teams (two students in each team) participating in the state competition on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 are:
- Bountiful High School – Jason Naelge and Mitch Alsop
- Clearfield High School – Dallas Stoker and Cole Younger
- Davis High School – Jake Hoffman and Brett Winterton
- Emery High School – Tuckett Allred and Hunter Jefferies
- Olympus High School – Brinton Neff and Andrew Lodder
- Provo High School – Christian Beaumont and Rich Shriber
- Riverton High School – Wade Tate and Cason Hales
- Syracuse High School – Tyler Fralick and Caleb Hill
- Timpview High School – David Forsythe and Jose Estrada
- Woods Cross High School – Joseph Jackson and Richard Whittaker
The winner of the state competition will advance to the national competition in Dearborn, Michigan (home of Ford Motor Company headquarters) June 7-9, 2015, to compete for nearly $12 million in scholarships and prizes.
The Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition fosters students’ interest in the automotive industry through a spirited nationwide competition with opportunities to win prizes, scholarships, tools and awards along with an experience that could help shape the future of their careers. The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills program helps to ensure future technicians are well-educated to meet ongoing changes in the industry. With more jobs available than workers to fill, a career as an automotive technician provides a promising future.
The work of automotive service technicians and mechanics has evolved from simply mechanical to high technology. According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, in Utah, an experienced automotive service technician earns an hourly wage of $17.20, or $35,776 per year. This occupation is projected to grow 2.3 percent through the year 2022.