Teams from seven New Jersey high schools will compete at the inaugural New Jersey Auto Tech Competition, sponsored by the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJ CAR), at Brookdale Community College on Saturday, January 19, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
The two-student teams will be scored on a written test, as well as seven hands-on stations that will measure their ability to assess and undertake vehicle repairs. The stations include: engine performance, brakes, engines, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), wiring repair, electrical and Controller Area Network (CAN)-BUS. Faculty and technicians from Brookdale will serve as judges for the competition.
The winning team from the inaugural New Jersey event will represent the State at the National Automotive Technology Competition to be held April 22-24, 2019 as part of the New York Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center. Brookdale Community College will also award two $1,000 scholarships to the winning team members.
New Jersey currently faces a shortage of auto technicians. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. will need more than 530,000 car and light truck mechanics through 2026. For New Jersey, that translates into 24,000 jobs that will need to be filled over the next seven years.
“The demand for skilled auto technicians in New Jersey is astonishing and there are simply not enough students to meet the growing need,” said Jim Appleton, President of NJ CAR. “These are good-paying, local jobs that can’t be outsourced, and New Jersey’s franchised automotive retailers are committed to making students aware of these incredible opportunities to challenge themselves and earn a great living with a career in auto repair.”
“We are proud to partner with NJ CAR in establishing this annual competition,” said Dr. David Stout, President of Brookdale Community College. “Our mission is about providing opportunity, and our auto technician program has provided students with an associate’s degree and path toward an excellent career in the automotive repair industry, at a fraction of the cost and with less incurred debt for students compared to private, for-profit providers.”
The New Jersey schools participating in the 2019 competition include: Gloucester County Institute of Technology, Hunterdon County Polytech, Old Bridge High School, Passaic County Technical Institute, Perth Amboy Vo-Tech, Vineland High School and West Orange High School.