Hawaii Students Win Ford/AAA National Auto Repair Title
19 June 2000Hawaii 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.