Two students from Lompoc High School were runners-up today in California’s 2014 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition. The competition, sponsored by Ford Motor Company and AAA, is designed to find the most talented young auto technicians in the U.S.
Lompoc High competed in the Southern California portion of the contest, held at the Wally Parks NHRA Museum at the Fairplex in Pomona, earning the runner-up spot to the state champion – a student team from Northern California’s Alhambra High. The Alhambra High student team achieved the highest overall score among all competitors. The Golden State is the only one with two same-day competitions on the journey to the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals in Dearborn, Mich. in June.
Competition winners were determined by scores on an online qualifying exam and the team’s performance today during the hands-on under-the-hood competition to quickly and accurately repair deliberately disabled Fords.
Anthony Newby and Daniel Cabeza Ramirez from Lompoc High found all purposely planted bugs in their vehicle, but missed a question on the vehicle work order. Alhambra High turned in a perfectly repaired car as well for judging, and answered all work order questions.
Although the runner-up, the Lompoc High pair each won multiple college tuition scholarships and text book assistance to several technical institutes across the U.S. They also received tuition assistance to one of 60 higher education schools participating in the Ford Motor Company’s Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) program. Snap-On Tools also donated tools to the top-scoring teams. All state competitors received a new Bosch scan device.
Three young adult women competitors from Apple Valley, San Luis Obispo and San Marcos Sr. High Schools participated in this year’s event indicating the auto industry is opening as a career option for technical-minded women.
“Anthony and Daniel repaired a Ford today with 10 ‘bugs’ and made all 10 repairs accurately, which means they had what we call a ‘perfect car,’” said Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition Committee Chairman and the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Approved Auto Repair Specialist Avo Asdourian. “But they missed the work order question. Nonetheless, they should be congratulated for their outstanding workmanship, as well as the effort it took for them to reach today’s competitive competition.”
Finishing second was Ramona High and San Luis Obispo High came in third.
As statewide champion, the Alhambra High team advances to the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals in Dearborn, Mich., in June, where more than $11 million in scholarships and prizes will be distributed.