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Automotive Students to Pop Hoods and Vie for State Auto Repair Championship

    --The Automobile Club

WHAT:             The Southland's finest high school auto technology
                  students will square off to diagnose and repair
                  identically bugged Ford Escapes at the 2002 Ford/AAA
                  Student Auto Skills Competition on May 10.
                  (Northern California has an identical contest the 
                  same day.)

                  The highest scoring team will become the state
                  champion representing California in June's
                  Washington, D.C. national finals. At the national
                  event, students will compete for $10 million in
                  scholarships. The Auto Club (AAA) and Ford sponsor
                  the Southern California contest as an education
                  outreach to encourage students to pursue careers in
                  the automotive industry.

WHY:              Trained automotive technicians are among the most
                  sought-after and highly-paid professionals in
                  today's job market, but many high schools have
                  reduced or eliminated automotive programs due to
                  lack of funds or teachers. Demand for qualified
                  technicians to work on today's sensitive and
                  sophisticated vehicles exceeds supply by about
                  60,000 annually, with salaries ranging from
                  $35,000-75,000 a year.

WHEN:             10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 10.  Awards 
                  presentation will be at 1 p.m.

WHERE:            California Speedway, Fontana (I-10 to Cherry Ave. 
                  Exit, north 1 mile)

WHO:              Southland's top high school automotive technicians 
                  (two-student teams) representing:

High School                                  City 

Agoura                                      Agoura Hills
Arvin                                       Arvin
Copper Mountain College ROP                 Joshua Tree
Hemet                                       Hemet
Hesperia                                    Hesperia
Jurupa Valley                               Mira Loma
Lompoc                                      Lompoc
Morro Bay                                   Morro Bay
Poway                                       Poway
Ramona  (Two teams)                         Ramona
San Bernardino                              San Bernardino
San Clemente                                San Clemente
San Luis Obispo                             San Luis Obispo
Sultana                                     Hesperia

    Onsite/Phone interviews of students or organizers are available prior to 9:45 a.m. and as contestants finish the competition.