ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.—With an April all-expenses paid trip to the National Automotive Technology Competition at the New York International Auto Show on the line, teams comprised of thirty-two local high school junior and senior automotive students gathered at Erie Community College's Vehicle Technology Training Center to compete in the 2013 Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association/Ron Smith Memorial AutoTech Competition on Saturday, January 19th.
In the senior competition, Dan Ruble and Kyle Jung, from the Orleans-Niagara BOCES Niagara Center posted the best score. The students along with their instructor, Jasper Adams, will represent their school and the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association (NFADA) at the national competition. The Burgard High School team of David Thie and River Saxbury came in second place. They will also compete in National's, representing the New York State Auto Dealers Association from Albany. Both WNY teams will compete against 28 other dealers' association teams from across the United States and Canada. Ashley Warren and Eric Mayle from the Harkness Career Center finished third in the local competition.
The students were trained by service technicians and managers at local Ford dealerships on the 2013 Ford F-150. The Ford F-150 and a 2013 Subaru BRZ, were this year's competition vehicles.
"Technicians are vital to the auto industry," said Frank Downing, chairman of the Western New York Ford Dealers. "We are proud to support programs and competitions like this because they are shaping the future of the industry. At our dealerships, we have technicians that have been with us for years, working their way up from entry level positions to where they are now."
The junior level event, affectionately known as the "Tire Rodeo" was won by Nolan Sinclair and Talel Elwaseem from the Erie 1 BOCES Kenton Potter Career Center in Tonawanda. This separate event was added a number of years ago by the planning committee to introduce first-year auto students to the AutoTech Competition. Having these students at the event adds excitement and encourages them to want to return as seniors for the chance win the trip to New York and the national finals. Since its inception, approximately 60% of the juniors return the following year to compete in the AutoTech competition.
Since 1946, Erie Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the state's SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment. Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, ECC's faculty, staff and students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and partnership.