FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association
GCADA Donates More Than $175,000 in
Scholarships, Education Programs and Apprenticeship Grants
Cleveland, OH (June 1, 2015) – The Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association, through its Auto Dealer Educational Assistance Foundation (ADEAF), is donating more than $175,000 via three separate education programs designed to support: its member dealers, dealership employees and their dependents, and schools that have post-secondary automotive technology education programs.
As a part of its ongoing mission to support post-secondary education, the ADEAF offers $125,000 in scholarships to dealership employees or their dependents. In addition, the GCADA is donating a total of $25,000 to post-secondary automotive technology programs at Stark State College, Cuyahoga Community College and Northwood University.
For the second straight year, the ADEAF has also committed to supporting member dealers that want to hire apprentice automotive technicians, offering nine “Grow Your Own” apprentice service technician grants. Each grant offers a maximum reimbursement of $3,200 to help offset employment costs of apprentices.
“The GCADA and our member dealers are again proud to support post-secondary education for our members’ employees and their dependents through our scholarship program, regardless of what career path they choose to pursue,” says Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the GCADA. “While our donations to automotive technology programs at Stark State College, Cuyahoga Community College and Northwood University will help educate the next generation of automotive technicians, our ‘Grow Your Own’ apprentice service technician grants will help facilitate the transition from the classroom into a real work environment.
“These donations represent our commitment to continuing education, the support of our member dealers and the support of their employees and dependents.”
Through the ADEAF, the GCADA offered 50 scholarships worth $2,500 each to dealership employees and their dependents. To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must be a dependent of full-time dealership personnel or employed at a GCADA member dealership, among other qualifications.
In keeping with the GCADA board’s commitment to help train the next generation of automotive technicians, the ADEAF also will donate $10,000 each to Stark State College and Cuyahoga Community College as well as $5,000 to Northwood University.
As a part of its continued effort to assist its member dealers in grooming future automotive technicians, the 2015 “Grow Your Own” apprentice service technician grant allows GCADA member dealers to apply for reimbursement for up to two months’ pay for an employee who has graduated from, or who is in the second year of enrollment at, a pre-approved post-secondary school with an automotive technician curriculum.
“It’s our belief that the investment we are making in our grant program will go a long way toward protecting our service industry for years to come,” says Vitantonio. “Of the nine technicians hired through the program last year, seven are still employed at the dealership. The service managers have mentioned how well these apprentice technicians are doing, with comments like, ‘He is doing a great job, we look forward to a long relationship,’ and ‘I need more techs like him.’”
There is an increasing need for automotive technicians across the country as many working in the industry reach retirement age. In addition, technicians today need more training and continuing education to help keep pace with the ever-increasing technological content of today’s automobiles.
In addition to the basics 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. In addition to the donations of ADEAF, individual GCADA member dealers invest thousands of dollars in continuing education and training every year.
About the GCADA
The Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers' Association (GCADA) has served the retail-automobile industry and community with integrity and distinction since 1915. Today, located in Brecksville, Ohio, GCADA represents over 250 franchised motor vehicle dealers, which include 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. Contact us at 440-746-1500.
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