Greater Philadelphia Automotive Technology Competition
Under the direction of our Foundation, the purpose of the Greater Philadelphia Automotive Technology Competition (Tech Comp) is to build awareness for the important role of auto technicians in today’s workforce and spotlight their specialized skills and professionalism.
Because the role of auto technicians has changed to keep up with technology, Tech Comp is very different than when it started in 1993. Auto technicians of the 21st Century must have highly polished math and computer skills in addition to mechanical aptitude followed only by an eye for delivery detail. Here is a fun fact to illustrate this point: there are more computer systems in a base-model version of any new car today than the first rocket ship that sent man to the moon! Pretty interesting, right?
The first of this two-part competition takes place in November, when approximately 100 high school seniors take a written exam. The exam covers the eight National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) areas of the automobile, which are Engine Repair, Engine Performance, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Brakes, Heating and Air Conditioning, Suspension and Steering, Manual Drive Train and Axles and Automatic Transmissions. The two highest scoring students from the top 12 schools qualify for the hands-on portion of the event.
During the hands-on portion, participants perform a Pre-Delivery Inspection of a previously-bugged vehicle and test their knowledge at 10 workstations ranging from engine mechanical to communication skills.
WHY IT MATTERS
The service department at a dealership is vital to the organization’s profitability, as service makes up 37% of all employment in dealerships. With the average age of today’s technician between 55 and 58, it’s estimated that half of technicians nationwide will retire in the next 10-12 years. There has never been a greater need for qualified technicians to enter the automotive industry.
And more importantly, this competition is another way for our Foundation to give back to the community. For the 24 finalists, the experience can be life-changing as more than $1 million in scholarships, tools and prizes is annually awarded through Tech Comp!
Check out this video of one of our hands-on competitions!