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Hawaii Students Win Ford/AAA National Auto Repair Title

19 June 2000

Hawaii Students Win Ford/AAA National Auto Repair Title

    WASHINGTON - A two-student team from Maui High School in Kahului, Hawaii, 
won the national high school auto repair championship at the 2000 FORD/AAA 
STUDENT AUTO SKILLS national finals here today.

    Steven Garrard, 17, and David Sharp, 17, outpaced a field of competitors
from every state to earn $71,149 in scholarships and prizes.  Their instructor
is Dennis Ishii.

    "Steven and David represent the best of a new generation of automotive
technicians who will be fixing tomorrow's cars," said James Dunst, STUDENT
AUTO SKILLS contest manager.  "With the shortage of trained auto technicians
this country is facing, these two can expect many career options in the
automotive technology field."

    Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that since 1989, more
than 15,000 trained technicians have been retiring annually.  This has
contributed to a current shortage of 60,000 trained automotive technicians.

    The contest, held near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. involved
teams from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the following
countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  Argentina placed
first among the international teams.  At exactly 9:15 a.m., participants
sprinted to identically "bugged" 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis, popped the hoods
and began diagnosing and repairing the problems.

    Garrard and Sharp made the necessary repairs in 35 minutes.

    The hands-on portion of the competition counted for 60 percent of the
overall score.  A written exam taken on Sunday counted for 40 percent.

    The STUDENT AUTO SKILLS contest is held to encourage students to pursue
careers in automotive service and is jointly sponsored by Ford Motor Company
and AAA.

    Teams placing second through tenth received scholarship awards scaled from
$45,100 to 2,800.  Second place went to Timothy DeBoer, 18, and Scott Ussing,
19, of Vale High School in Vale, Oregon.  Brian Schema, 18, and Jon Monson,
18, of Faribault High School in Faribault, Minnesota, took third place.