FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association
GCADA Donates $150,000 for Scholarships, Education Programs
Cleveland, OH (May 22, 2013) – The Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association, through its Auto Dealer Educational Assistance Foundation (ADEAF), will offer $125,000 in scholarships to auto dealership employees or their dependents. The GCADA also announced that it is donating a total of $25,000 to post-secondary automotive technology programs at Stark State College, Cuyahoga Community College and Northwood University.
“The board of the GCADA and our member dealers are proud to be able to help support the education of not only our dealership employees and their dependents, but also institutions of higher learning that help people pursue a career in the automotive industry,” says Ed Babcock, president of the Junction Auto Group and chairman of the GCADA. “The donations represent our commitment to continuing education, but they also represent an investment in our future.”
Through the ADEAF, the GCADA will offer 50 scholarships worth $2,500 each to dealership employees and their dependents. To qualify for the scholarship, applicants need to be a graduating senior or attending an accredited college or university, and show either need or merit. Applicants also have to be a dependent of full-time dealership personnel or employed at a GCADA member dealership and demonstrate a strong ambition to succeed in college.
The donations to post-secondary educational institutions are in keeping with the GCADA board’s commitment to help train the next generation of automotive technicians. The organization will donate $10,000 each to Stark State College and Cuyahoga Community College as well as $5,000 to Northwood University.
There are two factors impacting the need for more automotive technicians. The first is the natural attrition in the working population from people who retire. The second is the ever-increasing amount of technology found in today’s vehicles.
“Becoming an automotive technician today is not just about learning how mechanical systems work,” says Lou Vitantonio, president of GCADA, “it also involves mathematics and computer science. An automotive technician is no longer just a tradesman, but a skilled professional who needs continuing education just to keep up with the changes in automotive technology.
“As automakers continue to create more telematics, communications and connectivity systems inside the cabin and more advanced, alternative propulsion and drive train systems, this is a need that will only increase in the years to come.”
In addition to basic skills training learned in high school, today’s automotive technicians need at least two years of post secondary education. Many go on to become involved in manufacturer training programs for more than two years as well.
The rewards for a career as an automotive technician can be great. Salaries can often be as high as $47,000 to $65,000 for seasoned professionals. There are some automotive technicians in the Greater Cleveland area who pull down salaries in the six-figure range. Some have used their career as an automotive technician as a stepping-stone into dealer management positions or even dealer ownership.
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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