RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. The Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) Scholarship Committee is encouraging automotive aftermarket professionals to steer students pursuing careers in the aftermarket industry toward the 2009 Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) scholarship for assistance in funding their education. The committee also suggests recommending that friends or family members looking to start second careers consider the aftermarket as a viable option.
The annual GAAS scholarship is awarded to students planning automotive aftermarket careers and the college-bound children of the members of the associations that sponsor GAAS. The application process is entirely electronic through the GAAS scholarship website, www.automotivescholarships.com. The deadline to apply is Monday, March 31.
“The 2008 GAAS scholarship awards were announced during the annual Symposium, and I was thrilled by the number of GAAS attendees who received the news of their child’s award while at the meeting,” said Pete Kornafel, chairman of the GAAS Scholarship Committee. “I urge those parents who were at GAAS 2008 and all my aftermarket peers to spread the word about the GAAS scholarship throughout the industry and draw new talent to our vibrant and growing industry,” he added.
The current economic downturn also presents an opportunity to reach out to people who may be seeking a second career, Kornafel said. “Many of us know people who are out of work or considering the start of a new career in these challenging times, and opportunities are available in the automotive aftermarket,” he explained. “The GAAS scholarships are available to any student seeking an aftermarket career, whether in two-year technical college programs and vocational schools or four-year college programs.”
To receive a GAAS scholarship, applicants must be enrolled full-time in a college-level program or an ASE/NATEF (National Automotive Technician Education Foundation) accredited automotive technical program. Graduate programs and part-time undergraduate programs do not qualify.
The GAAS scholarship has an added benefit for future technicians. Scholarship recipients who graduate from their program and show proof of post-graduation employment as a technician in the automotive aftermarket for at least six months can receive a second, matching grant.
In 2008, a total of 150 students were awarded 170 scholarships by the GAAS scholarship fund, its contributors and other groups collaborating with GAAS. Individual scholarships ranged from $250 to $2,000 and more than $165,000 was awarded. In its 14-year history, the GAAS scholarship fund has presented more than $1.4 million in awards to approximately 1,400 students.
By completing a single online application at the GAAS website, students will be considered for GAAS scholarships, plus scholarships from a number of industry partners.
GAAS scholarships were awarded to 115 recipients in 2008, including 10 awards received by students from Canada. The annual investment to develop future automotive aftermarket industry leaders is funded through proceeds from the annual Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium. Additional funding comes from:
Art Fisher Memorial Scholarship Fund
Automotive Communications Council Scholarships (ACC)
ASC Industries Inc.
ASE / Michael Busch Memorial Scholarships
Breslow Foundation Scholarships
Leadership Development Network of AAIA (LDN)
R.L. Polk & Co.
Udell Family Charitable Foundation
University of the Aftermarket Foundation
An additional 55 scholarships were awarded by the following organizations:
AAACT Automotive Aftermarket Association of the Carolinas and Tennessee (regional association for residents of North and South Carolina and Tennessee)
AAAS Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast (regional association for residents of Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi)
ADS – Association of Diesel Specialists
APSA Automotive Parts & Services Association (regional association for residents of Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming)
APSA of IL Automotive Parts and Service Association of Illinois (regional association for residents of Illinois)
CAWA California/Arizona/Nevada Automotive Wholesaler’s Association (regional association for residents of Arizona, California and Nevada)
OVAAA – Ohio Valley Automotive Aftermarket Association (regional association for residents of Ohio and West Virginia)
Additional scholarship funding comes from industry contributions from individuals, companies and foundations. Contributions can be made to the GAAS Scholarship Fund, c/o Susan Medick at AAIA, at 301-654-6664, or [email protected].