UAA hosting automotive Skills Competition on March 24
by Matt Jardin |
On March 24 from 8–4 p.m., the UAA Department of Automotive and Diesel Technology (ADT) will host its first Skills Competition since the COVID-19 pandemic at the Auto Diesel Technology Building on the Anchorage campus.
The event aims to introduce high school students to the wider automotive technology industry, local employers and partners, and to UAA and higher education in general.
“High school students might be intimidated by a university setting. But if we get someone thinking about the competition to come in, then we’ve broken that barrier. Once here, they might see what else is on campus. They might say, ‘instead of becoming an automotive technician, I’d like to become an accountant or a nurse,’” said Richard Hale, ADT term assistant professor. “So let’s get them on campus, give them a good experience, and if they do decide to go into automotive, then great! But just to have them at UAA is even better.”
The competition consists of 10 challenge stations designed to teach and test participants on the basics of automotive technology, from mechanical and electrical to brakes and transmission.
Participants will be awarded points at each challenge station by volunteer judges comprising local businesses and industry partners from Lithia Kia, Swickward GMC, Anchorage Chrysler, Hall's Auto Body, Hale’s Technical Service, Murphy’s Auto Care Center, Anchorage Fire Department and more.
Prizes await the students and schools with the highest scores, including ADT tuition waivers, tools from Snap-On and NAPA Auto Parts, and even a 2002 Mercedes CLK 430 convertible courtesy of Guy Tober with Northwest Auto Parts.
Before the pandemic, ADT hosted these types of competitions for over 30 years under the banner of SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring America has a capable and educated workforce. Partnering with SkillsUSA also gave participants the chance to win scholarship prizes and the opportunity to compete nationally.
Unfortunately, the shutdown in the early months of the pandemic, coupled with the retirement of the SkillsUSA Alaska chapter director in that time resulted in a hiatus with the overall SkillsUSA organization. ADT and Hale hope the upcoming event will revitalize the SkillsUSA Alaska chapter, bringing back that association, and with it, scholarship opportunities for students.