RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — The Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) continues its work to ensure a strong future talent pool for automotive aftermarket companies and service outlets through its highly successful scholarship program. A total of 145 students will receive $1,000 GAAS scholarships in 2004, with the majority of recipients entering automotive vocational-technical programs, which will help address the critical shortage of automotive technicians.
During the past eight years, 901 students have received aid totaling approximately $920,000. Of the 145 scholarships given this year, 17 were awarded to Canadian students.
“The sheer number of scholarships the program has awarded is impressive, but what is even more impressive is the fact that 75 percent of past recipients now have careers in the automotive aftermarket,” said Peter Kornafel, chairman of the GAAS Scholarship Selection Committee. “These numbers demonstrate the importance of the program and are evidence why the industry is strongly encouraged to contribute even greater resources toward the program. Assuring our future begins today.”
The annual investment to help develop future aftermarket industry leaders is primarily funded through proceeds from the annual GAAS event. This two-day program brings together numerous industry executives and examines the issues and trends affecting the automotive aftermarket industry and influencing its future. GAAS has become the aftermarket’s premier educational conference.
The scholarships are available to students in two-year technical college programs and vocational schools and four-year college programs. To be eligible for a GAAS scholarship, applicants must be enrolled full-time in a college-level program or a NATEF (National Automotive Technician Education Foundation) accredited automotive technical program. Graduate programs and part-time undergraduate programs do not qualify.
The GAAS scholarship is also unique in that recipients can receive two financial grants: one while in school to assist with tuition and an equivalent grant awarded to all scholarship recipients who graduate from their program and show proof of employment as a technician in the automotive aftermarket for at least six months after graduation.
The GAAS program is a joint professional education effort of the Alliance of State Automotive Aftermarket Associations (ASAAA), Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada, Automotive Parts Rebuilders Association (APRA), Automotive Service Association (ASA), Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), Motorist Assurance Program (MAP), Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), Tire Industry Association (TIA) and University of the Aftermarket.
The 2005 event is set for Wednesday and Thursday, May 11-12, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Chicago. Details are at: www.globalsymposium.org.
GAAS Scholarship applications for 2005 will be available Wednesday, September 1 from the industry associations who sponsor GAAS. Applicants can also contact Jobie Dowd of MEMA at 919-549-4800 or [email protected] for applications.
For more information on the scholarship or to download an application form, applicants can also go to www.automotivescholarships.com.
A separate application for Canadian students is available from the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada at 613-728-5821, or at the organization’s Web site: www.aiacanada.com. Deadline for 2005 scholarship applications is Thursday, March 31, 2005.
Some additional funding comes from contributions. Contributions can be made to the GAAS Scholarship Fund, c/o Susan Medick at AAIA, at 301-654-6664, or [email protected] . This year an anonymous donor will match 25 percent of the first $40,000 of contributions to the scholarship fund.
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