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News & Updates

News Release: Polaris Career Center Students Place Sixth at National Auto Tech Competition
May 03, 2011

News Release: Polaris Career Center Students Place Sixth at National Auto Tech Competition


Sara Panza
Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association
Polaris Career Center students take home
Sixth Place at National Automotive Tech Competition
Cleveland, OH (May 3, 2011)Two automotive technology students from Polaris Career Center took home sixth place at the recent National Automotive Technology Competition at the New York Auto Show.
Students Dominic LaPinta and Justin Janca and their instructor Robert Yuravak from Polaris placed as high as any two-member student team from Northeast Ohio has ever placed in the national competition. A team from Mentor also placed sixth in 2006.
“But nobody has ever placed higher and this is as high as we have placed in years,” said Dennis Rose, floor manager of the Cleveland Auto Show. “Before they left for New York, the students were pretty well set on where they would continue their educations. But now, they are getting offers from schools from all over the country.”
“I guess that’s the price of success,” added Polaris Instructor Robert Yuravak. “When they started calling out the names of the top ten finishers, I started getting real nervous right around eight. When they named the seventh place finisher, I thought we either did very well or totally blew the competition. When they called our name sixth, I was relieved. I guess I was even more nervous than the students.”
The National Automotive Technology Competition is a test of skill, a measure of knowledge, and a race against the clock-all rolled into one. It features hundreds of the nation's best high school automotive education students from across the country competing for the title of The Nation’s Best Automotive Technician.
Each two-person student team must diagnose and repair a number of pre-assigned problems under a car's hood within an allotted amount of time. Each "bug" correctly repaired is worth a number of points, depending on the level of difficulty. In addition, the student's overall knowledge is tested through a series of written tests prepared by the ASE.
In taking home sixth prize, the two students also brought home some significant prizes, including a $15,000 Automotive Training Center scholarship, a $10,000 scholarship to Ohio Technical College, an $8,000 Scholarship offer from the University of Northwestern Ohio, and a $2,500 scholarship to the Lincoln Technical Institute. In addition, the students also received myriad prizes from a wide variety of automotive manufacturers and aftermarket companies, including General Motors, Toyota, Subaru, Summit Racing and Snap-On Tools to name but a few.
Janca, LaPinta and Yuravak qualified for the National Automotive Technology Competition after winning the Cleveland Auto Show’s 19th Annual Automotive Technology Competition held at the I-X Center during the Show.
At that competition, each student won a $4,000 to their choice of one of four schools in Ohio, including: Cuyahoga Community College, Ohio Technical College, the University of Northwestern Ohio, or Stark State College. The students also won the all-expenses-paid trip to New York to represent Northeast Ohio courtesy of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association.
“Sending the very best Northeast Ohio has to offer to the National Competition in New York is a very worthwhile cause,” said Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association. “It’s just one of the ways we are helping to support this next generation of aspiring automotive technicians.”
About the GCADA  
The Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers' Association (GCADA) has served the retail-automobile industry and community with integrity and distinction since 1903. Today, located in Brecksville, Ohio, GCADA represents 240 franchised motor vehicle dealers, which includes new-car, truck, motorcycle and RV dealers in a 21-county region of northern Ohio along the Lake Erie shore and beyond.  More information on the GCADA can be found at www.gcada.org.
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