High School Automotive Students Compete for Ford/AAA Auto Skills State Title

Thousands of scholarship dollars up for grabs during competition at SUNY Morrisville


MORRISVILLE, N.Y., May 7, 2012 — Twenty high school automotive students from across New York will race against the clock on Tuesday, May 15 in the State Finals of the 2012 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition. The competition is geared toward students looking to jumpstart their careers in the automotive industry.

Each two-student team will battle to correctly identify and fix intentionally installed “bugs” on identical 2012 Ford vehicles. After properly diagnosing and repairing their vehicle, the teammates must drive their assigned vehicle across the finish line, where the car will be inspected for accuracy and workmanship. The competition will take place at Morrisville State College at 10:00 a.m.

The top-ranked automotive technology students selected to compete in this year’s State Finals include:

  • Tim Gray and Warren Kessler, Western Suffolk BOCES Wilson Tech, Dix Hills
  • Joshua Condello and Nick Otto, Monroe #1 BOCES, Fairport
  • Mitchell Schnell and James Winhaber, Phillip J. LoGuidice Education Center, Fredonia
  • Bryon Knoll and Alex Manroe, Wildwood Education Center, Hornell
  • Ricky Brown and Vincent Rinaldo, Otsego Area Occupational Center, Milford
  • Myles Stankiewicz and Vincent Titone, Edward J. Milliken Technical Center, Oakdale
  • William Lavrey and Terrin Salamone, Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES, Olean
  • Joshua Kopycinski and Molly Sue Morningstar, Ulster Career & Tech Center, Port Ewen
  • Joseph Daley and Joseph Lottermoser, OCM BOCES Henry Campus, Syracuse
  • Joe Cavallaro and Reo Hallings, Wayne Technical & Career Center, Williamson

The competitors were selected based on their high scores in an online qualifying exam that tested each team’s automotive knowledge. The winning team members not only receive scholarships and other valuable prizes, but also will represent New York State at the National Finals at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., on June 10-12. The team with the highest combined scores from the national hands-on competition and written exam will be declared “America’s Next Top Auto Technicians.”

“Each year, the Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition brings together the best of the country’s future top automotive technicians,” said Wally Smith, Vice President of AAA Western and Central New York. “By providing hands-on experience, scholarships for higher education and job shadow opportunities, we hope to energize young people about an exciting future in this field.”

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition will offer nearly $12 million in scholarships and prizes to more than 12,000 high school students participating across the country. Ford and AAA are dedicated to the competition as part of their commitment to the future of automotive service in America.

Full-time automotive technicians earn a national mean hourly wage of $18.36, translating into approximately $38,200 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest 10 percent earn an average of $28.65 per hour or $59,590 annually.

As Upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA provides nearly 880,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

AAA news releases are available in the AAA Newsroom at www.AAA.com/Media.