10 May 2011




Pete Candela, Director, Approved Automotive Repair,
AAA Auto Club South, (321) 228-1736 cell

Joanna Newton, Public & Government Relations,
AAA Auto Club South, (813) 787-6886 cell



Nearly $12 million in scholarships will be offered at both the state and national level to Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competitors in 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 10, 2011) –Tennessee students will show off their automotive repair skills in the 2011 Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition. The competition is a tool used by AAA and Ford to recruit new talent and enable students to begin a career right out of high school. The Tennessee competition is May 12, at the Lane Motor Museum, 702 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, 37210. See below for a list of local participating schools.

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition tests students’ automotive knowledge and technical skills. Each two-student team will race to correctly diagnose and repair intentionally installed faults or “bugs” on identical vehicles. The winning team must repair every bug and drive the vehicle across the finish line. Nearly $12 million in scholarships will be offered at both the state and national level to Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competitors in 2011. Click here for footage of the 2010 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition.

Students who participate in the competition have the opportunity to become one of the more than 4,000 AAA Service Technicians, 5,000 Road Service Counselors, or 13,500 Tow Truck Operators who served more than 25 million AAA members with emergency roadside assistance year after year. Georgia’s first place team will compete against students from 49 other states in a written exam and another hands-on competition. The winners will represent the state in the National Finals at the Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., June 12-14.

AAA has a network of more than 8,000 Approved Auto Repair Facilities where highly qualified automotive repair technicians are always in demand. In 2008, automotive service technicians held more than 763,000 jobs, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor. This number is expected to grow by five percent by the year 2018.

“The Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition can be the genesis of a lifelong career that stems from a passion or hobby,” said Pete Candela, director, AAA’s Approved Automotive Repair Program. “These kids are our technicians of tomorrow, who will provide services in dealerships and repair facilities as well as emergency roadside assistance.”

Advancements in automobile safety, fuel management and comfort have led to an increased reliance on computers and electronic components to make cars operate more efficiently. Today’s auto technicians must be well-educated and continue training to stay on the cutting edge of advances in computer and electronic technology. They must be skilled in all aspects of mechanical repair procedures and knowledgeable about service intervals and similar maintenance requirements on a wide variety of automotive vehicles.

“Ford Auto Skills gives these gifted students a chance to showcase their talent, but it also gives them a chance to be introduced to the real world and find their place as a young adult,” said John Droese, Regional Fleet Manager in Ga., AAA Auto Club South. “These events provide opportunities for kids to develop their own identities and get ideas about what they want for their futures when they get their first jobs.”



Tennessee Schools in State Finals of the Auto Skills Competition
at the
Lane Motor Museum









Anderson Cnty Career & Tech

David H. Wood 


(865) 457-4205

BartlettHigh School

Donald Graham 


(901) 373-2620

BoltonHigh School

Paul Frye


(901) 873-8150


Harvey Rimmer 


(901) 989-8125

Copper Basin H. S.

Kevin Smith


(423) 496-3291

Henry CountyH.S.

Jeremy McCord  


(901) 642-5232

McMinn Cnty Voc. Cntr.

Craig Bowers Teacher


(423) 745-8633

Polk CountyH.S.  

Bob Stone 


(423) 338-4514

RiverdaleHigh School



(615) 890-6450

Union CountyH.S.

Eddie Satterfield


(865) 992-0180

The Auto Skills Competition was founded in 1949 and is celebrating its 62nd anniversary. AAA and Ford have had the opportunity to co-host the event since 1984 and have helped encourage thousands of young students to pursue careers in the automotive industry. AAA Auto Club South is the third largest affiliate of AAA, serves more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, Middle/West Tennessee, and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.



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