Teams from several New Jersey high schools competed on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at the 2nd Annual New Jersey Auto Tech Competition, sponsored by the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJ CAR), on the campus of Brookdale Community College. The top three teams were:
First Place: Hunterdon County Polytech– Students Stephen Koehler and Geordan Marreo; faculty instructor Chris Scheuerman
Second Place: Atlantic County Institute of Technology– Students: Shawn Dangler and Demetrios Lambropoulos; faculty instructor Curtis Silver
Third Place: Old Bridge High School– Students: Sebastian Aguiar and Rocco Lupino; faculty instructor Kenneth Colavito
The two-student teams demonstrated their skills on eight (8) hands-on stations including: engine performance, brakes, engines, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical, wire repair, STEM-Electronics and Controller Area Network (CAN)-BUS. The stations measured their ability to assess and undertake vehicle repairs. Faculty and assistants from Brookdale served as judges for the competition.
The Hunterdon County Polytech team will now advance to the National Automotive Technology Competition in New York City this April, held in conjunction with the New York Auto Show. The Hunterdon team finished was runner-up in last year’s national competition.
“We are proud of all the teams that competed this year and look forward to seeing these students, and many others, pursue successful careers in auto repair,” said Jim Appleton.
NJ CAR is addressing the demand for skilled technicians in New Jersey though the creation of the Automotive Technician Apprenticeship Program (A.T.A.P.). ATAP promotes the benefits of a career in automotive technology, and helps dealerships recruit, train and retain the next generation of automotive technicians by providing job-specific classroom instruction through local county vocational schools and on-the-job training at neighborhood new car dealers.
“There is a shortage of skilled auto technicians across the county and the need is particularly dire right here in New Jersey, with as many as 12,000 job openings that will need to be filled over the next six years,” said Jim Appleton, President of NJ CAR. “New Jersey’s neighborhood new car dealerships are committed to encouraging students to consider a career in auto repair. These good-paying, local jobs can’t be out-sourced and talented individuals can succeed very quickly.”
The New Jersey schools participating in the 2020 competition included: Atlantic County Institute of Technology, Hunterdon County Polytech, Old Bridge High School, Passaic County Technical Institute and Vineland Senior High School.