NACE Automechanika continues to give back to the industry it serves — this time with the awarding of six scholarships to the event.
The UBM Community Engagement Program joined with the Automotive Management Institute (AMi) and National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) to award three scholarships from each organization for NACE Automechanika 2017 in Chicago covering travel expenses, training costs and access to trade show product discovery.
“UBM, plc and our Community Engagement Program is committed to supporting the social communities in which we work — those local to our offices as well as those local to our events. This commitment is demonstrated through the scholarship program developed between the UBM Community Engagement Program and the Automotive Management Institute, National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and Technicians Service Training. We at UBM, plc stand by the importance of supporting and fostering the growth and development of community engagement programs and through our philanthropic dedication we strive to make these programs a positive experience and a success,” said Scott Schulman, CEO, UBM Americas.
NACE Automechanika, the largest U.S. trade show dedicated to high-end technical and management-related training for automotive service and collision repair shops, is July 26-29 at McCormick Place West in Chicago.
Scholarships will cover travel and hotel expenses for recipients as well as any costs associated with training courses during NACE Automechanika Chicago. Recipients also will receive cash vouchers redeemable with exhibitors at the NACE Automechanika Chicago expo to purchase tools, equipment and other services required to enhance their skillsets.
Scholarships from AMi were available for those who work in the automotive service or collision repair industry and served in the U.S. military. The recipients are:
- David Ahl, technician with TGK Automotive of St. Paul, Inc.; Maplewood, Minnesota
- Tracy Magill, owner of Taylor Automotive LLC; Sanford, North Carolina
- Michael Vander Ploeg, service writer with Heritage Service Centre; Grand Rapids, Michigan
“We are honored to be involved with NACE Automechanika and the training opportunities it provides to the industry. The AMi core belief recognizes learning as the only source of a sustainable competitive advantage and we are confident our scholarship winners will advance their competitive advantage through the event educational programs. There are few opportunities like NACE Automechanika to learn such a variety of topics,” said Jeff Peevy, president of the Automotive Management Institute.
Recipient Magill said he is looking forward to learning about increasing technician productivity and employee and customer communication and improving his shop’s diagnostic sales. “I hope to be able to bring what I learn home and implement my new level of knowledge on Quick Books, communication and better business practices shared from the instructors and other shop owners,” Magill said. “I have only owned the shop for three-and-a-half years and really just want to learn all I can.”
Ahl said he is looking to focus on technology updates while at NACE Automechanika. “Staying ahead of new designs, equipment and diagnostic procedures is vital for technicians and repair shops to stay relevant and profitable,” he said. “I am very excited about attending the NACE conference because it will allow me to connect with other professionals from all over the world. There is an unending amount of information within our industry, and every person you connect with allows you to access another piece of that knowledge.”
Ahl also looks forward to using the training to benefit his entire team. “Everything I learn will be shared with fellow technicians and service writers to better serve our clients and help our company grow,” he said.
NATEF scholarships were available for automotive educators and students over age 18. The NATEF recipients are:
- James Stevens, collision repair instructor, Arkansas State University Beebe at Searcy; Lonoke, Arkansas
- Steven McCauley, professor of Diesel Technologies, Florida State College at Jacksonville; Jacksonville, Florida
- Stephen Small, auto technology instructor, Chabot College; Hayward, California
“NATEF is happy to support instructor-update training like the kind available at NACE Automechanika. It is so important for our instructors to see what is happening in the real work world so they can communicate that information to their students. NACE Automechanika is one of the many opportunities for this exposure,” said Trish Serratore, NATEF president.
High school instructor Stevens says learning about the entire vehicle is important, but he plans to focus on collision repair, basic scan tool and HVAC courses. “Training students for entry-level jobs in the collision repair industry while keeping up with automotive construction, repair techniques, repair products and equipment is a major challenge,” he said. “Being able to carry back to our students so much of the latest repair trends in the collision repair industry is invaluable to our program.”
McCauley, who is new to teaching in the industry, is looking forward to gaining more knowledge in the diesel field. “Technology keeps moving forward and if we do not keep up, we will be left behind,” he said. “I do not think it would be fair to my students to only be able to teach them old technologies. I am also looking forward to seeing how the instructors there use various forms of engagement to hold everyone’s attention, as that will help me in my new career.”
Earlier this year, in partnership Technicians Service Training (TST), scholarships were also to two winners at the 14th annual TST Big Event on March 25.
Robert Kenney, a technician at Gil’s Garage, Inc., in Burnt Hills, NY and Joel Widrick, owner of Widrick Truck & Diesel Service in Carthage, NY, were named the recipients.
NACE Automechanika attendees also will be able to experience the latest technology, test equipment and discover advanced applications with live, interactive demonstrations. For the 2017 event, the show schedule has been adjusted to limit conflicts between exposition hours and training sessions.