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`America's Top Technician' Title Won by Los Angeles High School Students at National Automotive Technology Competition

Over $3.5 Million Dollars in Scholarships & Prizes Awarded to Participants

New York - April 16, 2009: Matt Bezkrovny and Adam Whelan, students at Agoura High School in Agoura Hills, California, finished in 1st place at the 2009 National Automotive Technology Competition. The students are sponsored by the Greater Los Angeles Automobile Dealers Association. The Competition, the auto industry's largest school-to-work initiative, pits the nation's best high school automotive vocational education students against one another for the title of `America's Top Technician'. The first prize team members each receive $10,000 worth of Snap-on Tools from General Motors, multiple scholarship offers, and other very substantial prizes. The winner's school will receive a Scion XB from Toyota Motor Sales, USA.

Top Three Teams:

1st Place - Team Lexus

Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association

School: Agoura High School, 28545 West Driver Avenue, Agoura Hills, CA.

Students: Matt Bezkrovny

Adam Whelan

Instructor: John Andersen

2nd Place - Team Mazda

Toronto Automotive Dealers Association

School: Northview Heights Secondary School, 550 Finch Avenue West, North York.

Students: Kevin Birchall

Eric Salb

Instructor: Norm Arding

3rd Place -- Team Toyota

North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association

School: Watauga High School, 48 Mitchell Hill Lane, Elk Park, NC

Students: Jessica Lawrence

Daniel Miller

Instructor: Larry Jones

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Page Two/Auto Technology Competition

The National Finals, held in New York in conjunction with the New York International Automobile Show, are possible thanks to the generous contributions of over 125 industry sponsors including automakers, industry organizations, OEM suppliers, educational institutions, and dealers associations from across the country. This year, prizes and scholarships totaling more than $3.5 million were awarded to the participants. Snap-on, the Competition's Official Tool Supplier, provided tool sets to all competitors and General Motors awarded $10,000 worth of Snap-on tools to each first place team member.

“In addition to the valuable prizes and scholarships that these students win, the National Automotive Technology Competition is a tremendous opportunity for some of the best students in America to be introduced to various automobile manufacturers, auto dealers, auto industry suppliers, and college recruiters,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association. “These students represent the future of the industry and will become the single most important link between manufacturer and the consumer.”

“Over the past 19 years the National Automotive Technology Competition has established itself as a leader in automotive education, piquing the interest of thousands of students each year. It gives students the opportunity to develop their skills in a fun, competitive, and rewarding environment. With the increasing use of sophisticated technology in cars today as well as an aging work population, it's critical that the automobile industry attracts talented, young minds into this business,” Schienberg added.

How the Contest Works

The rules of the contest are simple. Each team of students is assigned an automobile that is rigged to malfunction in a number of ways. Using a repair order with actual customer complaints, the student teams must diagnose and repair the problem within the allotted time, using the manufacturer's specialty tools. Each “bug” correctly diagnosed and repaired is worth a number of points, depending on the level of difficulty.

In addition, the students' knowledge of emissions control systems, alignment, electrical test equipment, airbag components, oscilloscope usage and mechanical measurement equipment is tested during a series of intensive work station sessions. To prepare for the competition, students are trained at local new car dealerships where the skills they learn from master technicians help prepare them to succeed in the working world.

The National Automotive Technology Competition was founded by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, held at the New York International Auto Show. It is an industry-wide school-to-work initiative supported by nearly every major automaker, technical institutions, OEM suppliers, automotive parts and supplies companies, individual dealers, and dealers associations across the country.

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