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Two Palatine Students Win $10,000 Scholarship to Universal Technical Institute

Fremd High School duo will represent Illinois in the National Ford/AAA Student AUto Skills competition.

Credit: AAA Chicago
Credit: AAA Chicago
Two students from Fremd High School recently won the Illinois 2014 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition, earning them each a $10,000 scholarship to attend Universal Technical Institute (UTI) and a spot in the national competition later this summer. 

UTI is the nation’s leading provider of post-secondary education for individuals seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians.

Frank Kranz and Thomas Mayer, led by instructor Steve Elza, won the statewide competition held at UTI’s Lisle campus on May 9 that featured two-person teams from 10 high schools. More than 300 students took the qualifying exam to participate in the “hands on” competition, which measures automotive knowledge, workmanship, and problem-solving abilities.  

“The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition is an annual tradition that brings together the country’s best future automotive technicians,” said Julie Mueller, campus president of UTI Lisle. “It is rewarding to see so many talented students from our high schools competing for this award and it was UTI’s privilege to host this event. We wish Frank and Thomas the best in their future careers.”

In addition to the $10,000 scholarship, Kranz and Mayer each received a full scholarship for the Ford Accelerated Credential Training (FACT) elective program. Ford FACT is one of the manufacturer specific advanced training programs UTI students can take after completing a core automotive or diesel program. The Ford FACT program is an estimated $8,000 scholarship.

Across its national 11-campus network, UTI has partnered with more than 30 top brands in the transportation industry, including Ford, to create curricula tailored to manufacturers’ standards and equip its campuses with the latest vehicles, equipment, tools and training aids.

AAA and Ford Motor Company have been longtime sponsors of the annual competition as a way to encourage young people to pursue careers as automotive service technicians. Events like the Student Auto Skills Competition ensure the development of a quality workforce that is ready for the rigors of industry. Winners in state-based and national hands-on skills competitions can win various levels of scholarships from UTI.

In addition to earning their scholarships, the duo earned a spot in the National Finals at Ford Motor Company World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, June 8–10. There they will compete for millions in scholarship dollars, the opportunity to earn a job shadow experience with Wood Brothers Racing and the possibility of being crowned “America’s Best Student Auto Technicians.”

 Source: Universal Technical Institute press release 

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