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News & Updates

News Release: Next Generation Automotive Technicians to Compete
February 05, 2013

News Release: Next Generation Automotive Technicians to Compete


Sara Panza
Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association
Next Generation Automotive
Technicians to Compete at the Auto Show
Cleveland, OH (February 5, 2013) – A spirited competition is always a motivator to be the best in your field. The Cleveland Auto Show’s 21st Annual Automotive Technology Competition sets the stage for the best of the best two-member teams from five Northern Ohio technical high schools to compete.
The finals of the competition, held in cooperation with the Cleveland Auto Show, presented by AutoTrader.com, will take place at the I-X Center during the Show on Sunday, February 24 at 1 p.m. The first test was a rigorous written examination, qualifying the students for the finals. The winning team of the “hands on” portion of the competition will then head on to New York City and represent Northern Ohio in the National Automotive Technology Competition.
This hands-on part of the competition during the upcoming Cleveland Auto Show will challenge the two-member teams to diagnose and find “bugs” that have been planted on vehicles by a team of volunteer test proctors.
“On behalf of the Cleveland Auto Show and its management, I would like to congratulate each of these ten students who have qualified for the finals of the Automotive Tech Competition,” says Dennis Rose, operations and floor manager of the Cleveland Auto Show. “They represent the very best automotive technology students from across Northern Ohio. Now they move on to the next and most crucial phase of the competition where they will be competing for scholarship money and the chance to represent our area in the National Automotive Technology Competition in New York City.”
The five teams qualifying for the final round of the 21st Annual Automotive Technology Competition include: Nicholas Falcon and William Cimino and their instructor Joseph Lamatrice from Cuyahoga Valley Career Center; James Bullard and Joe Liller and their instructor Darin Lewis of Lorain County JVS; Zach Fickle and Dakota Cannady and their instructor Ron Balis from Portage Lakes Career Center; Dylan Merkel and Jack Hancock and their instructor David Gillies from Trumbull Career and Technical Center; and Mark Salerno and Matt Miller and their instructor Gary Mitchhart from Valley Forge High School.
“These five teams and their instructors represent the best and the brightest of the automotive technology students in our area,” said Dan Sanders, chairman of the Cleveland Auto Show. “They have shown us what they can do on paper. Now, at the Cleveland Auto Show, they will show us how to apply what they have learned under the pressure of head-to-head competition.”
In addition to a trip to New York City to compete in the National Automotive Technology Competition, the winners of the 21st Annual Automotive Technology Competition will also receive a scholarship worth $4,000 for each team member to either Cuyahoga Community College or Stark State College. Each of the colleges offers an outstanding automotive collegiate tech program, says Rose.
Second place winners will receive a $750 scholarship for each team member, while third place finishers will be awarded a $600 scholarship for each team member.
Winners competing in the National Automotive Technology Competition in New York City will be pitted against automotive tech teams from around the country in 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.
“We have had several of our teams who have done quite well at the national level,” says Sanders. “With the scores we have already seen on the written portion of the examination, this year should be no different.”
“Every one of the students competing at the Cleveland Auto Show has already taken the first steps to succeed in a very lucrative career,” adds Rose. “There are a number of very well-known local auto dealers who started out their careers as automotive technicians.”
The Cleveland Auto Show opens its doors to the public at the I-X Center on Saturday, Feb. 23, and runs through Sunday March 3, 2013. The show runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets are $12.50 for adults and $10.50 for seniors and pre-teens. Children six and under get in free. Parking is free for the duration of the show, courtesy of your franchised new car dealers.
If you would like more information on the Cleveland Auto Show, or if you would like to purchase e-tickets online with no convenience charge courtesy of Huntington Bank, head to www.clevelandautoshow.com, and click on “Buy Tickets”.
About the Cleveland Auto Show 
The Cleveland Auto Show, presented by AutoTrader.com, marks the start of the spring selling season in Northeast Ohio. Featuring concept, pre- production and production vehicles from the world’s auto manufacturers, the show is held annually at the I-X Center with nearly 1.2 million square feet of exhibits. The Show also features an array of entertainment including sports celebrity appearances from the Browns, Cavs, OSU and NASCAR. The Cleveland Auto Show is a consumer show and a favorite family tradition since 1903.  
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 250 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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