Find Your Car Mechanic of Tomorrow as Automotive Students Vie for Ford/AAA State Championship on Friday, May 5

Automotive

WHAT: Racing against the clock and each other at Irwindale Speedway, 10 teams of the Southland's top high school auto technology students will repair disabled Ford cars during the 2006 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition state finals.

The competition requires repairs to be made with the highest quality work in the lowest total time. The winning pair from the So. Calif., or the No. Calif. contest held concurrently in Danville, Calif., will represent the state at the national finals on June 25 in Dearborn, MI.

WHY: Trained automotive technicians are among the most sought-after and highly paid professionals in today's job market, but many high schools are scaling back or eliminating their automotive programs due to lack of funding and/or trained teachers. The annual demand for qualified auto technicians exceeds the supply by about 35,000 and the auto repair industry is predicted to increase in size. This skills competition has been in place since 1949 as part of an effort to attract and train more young people for automotive professions.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Friday, May 5. Awards presentation will follow at 1 p.m.

WHERE: Irwindale Speedway, 13300 E. Live Oak Ave. Public Relations: 626-358-1100.

WHO: Twenty of the Southland's top high school automotive technicians (two students per team) representing the following:

SchoolCity
AgouraAgoura Hills
Arroyo GrandeArroyo Grande
Bishop Union Bishop
Morro BayMorro Bay
Ramona (2 Teams)Ramona
San ClementeSan Clemente
San Luis Obispo High SchoolSan Luis Obispo
SultanaHesperia
VenturaVentura

ONSITE OR TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS OF CONTESTANTS OR ORGANIZERS ARE AVAILABLE PRIOR TO 9:45 A.M. AND AS CONTESTANTS COMPLETE THE CONTEST.

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