BCAA/BCIT/BC Ford Dealers' Auto Skills Competition promotes high-tech auto careers



    BURNABY, BC, April 25 /CNW/ - BCAA, BCIT and BC Ford Dealers are giving
secondary students the keys to start their automotive repair careers as they
team up to test students' automotive knowledge and technical skills at the
Student Auto Skills Competition on May 4 in Burnaby. The annual competition,
now in its 17th year, is designed to encourage careers in the automotive
industry and to cultivate talent among young, aspiring auto technicians.
    The Student Auto Skills competition features the top 20 high school
automotive students from across B.C. - representing schools in Abbotsford,
Coquitlam, Duncan, Maple Ridge, North Vancouver, Princeton, Salmon Arm and
Terrace.
    The hands-on competition consists of 10 two-student teams racing against
a clock to diagnose and repair identically "bugged" malfunctions deliberately
installed in vehicles. The first team to successfully start and road test
their vehicle is declared the winner. Students qualified by taking exams
earlier this spring.
    Lloyd Stamm, CEO for the Automotive Industry Training Association says
the automotive repair landscape has changed considerably over the past
five-to-ten years. "Automotive repair technicians shouldn't be stereotyped as
'grease monkeys', as their skill set is way more advanced," he says.
    "Today's technicians must be well-educated and maintain their training to
stay on top of cutting-edge advances in computer and electronic technology.
Advancements in automobile safety, fuel management and comfort have led to an
increasing reliance on computers and electronic components."
    Over $19,000 in prizes and scholarships will be on the cards for
competing schools and students. Each student on the top three teams will
receive a scholarship to BCIT's Motive Power Program and an Automotive
Retailers Association scholarship to the post secondary institution of their
choice. The winning school's automotive department will also be presented with
a Ford Windstar van courtesy of MSA Ford, Abbotsford and Steve Marshall Ford,
Nanaimo.
    At a time when there is a strong demand, yet a short supply of
highly-skilled and trained auto technicians, the Student Auto Skills
Competition serves as a spring board for those who wish to pursue an
automotive career. Each year many of participants move on to promising careers
in the automotive industry as a result of participation in the competition and
the scholarships they win.
    The competition is co-sponsored by BCAA, BCIT and BC Ford Dealers and
supported by various organizations dedicated to quality auto service.

    Editors note:

    Media are invited to the competition on Friday, May 4 from 9:30 a.m. -
12:30 p.m. at BCIT in Burnaby (NE16, 3700 Willingdon Avenue). Parking is
available in student parking Lot A. If heading east on Canada Way make a right
turn onto Carey Avenue/Beta Avenue. Continue down Carey Avenue until you reach
a three-way intersection. Lot A will be on your right and NE16 is located on
the west side of Lot A.


    
             BCAA/BCIT/BC Ford Dealers' Auto Skills Competition

                            Participating Schools

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    SCHOOL                                           STUDENTS
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    Abbotsford Christian School, Abbotsford          Dan Gietema
    Instructor: Gary Verbeek (604-850-5342)          Tyler Ridder

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    Caledonia Senior Secondary, Terrace              Kalen Loeppky
    Instructor: Doug Brewer (250-635-6531)           Devan Porter

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    Carson Graham Secondary, North Vancouver         Crystal Ladouceur
    Instructor: Mubasher Faruki (604-903-4859)       Dylan Williams

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    Centennial Secondary, Coquitlam                  Derek Lee
    Instructor: Geoff McElgunn (604-939-9122)        Dayne Simpson

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    Cowichan Secondary, Duncan                       Bradley Fairhurst
    Instructor: Ryan Gough (250-746-4435)            Spencer Van Jaarsveld

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    Pinetree Secondary, Coquitlam                    Ken Faubert
    Instructor: Brad Kalyk (604-464-2513)            Dale Williams

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    Princeton Secondary, Princeton                   Brad Haigh
    Instructor: Lawrence Newman (250-295-3218)       Ian Stout

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    Salmon Arm Secondary, Salmon Arm                 Cole Irmen
    Instructor: Tony Gibson (250-832-2188)           Nick Spottock

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    W.J. Mouat Secondary, Abbotsford                 Chris Vander Meer
    Instructor: Richard Johnson (604-853-7191)       Colin Schmidt

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    Westview Secondary, Maple Ridge                  Kurt Labelle
    Instructor: Dave Huesken (604-467-3481)          Brendan Morris

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For further information:

For further information: or to arrange a photo opportunity with
participating students, contact: Jennifer Timm, BCAA Media Relations
Coordinator, Tel: (604) 268-5342, Cell: (778) 228-8859, E-mail:
jennifer.timm@bcaa.com; Allison Markin, BCIT Media Relations Manager, Tel:
(604) 432-8773, Cell: (604) 836-6700, E-mail: Allison_Markin@bcit.ca


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