Courtesy Dominick Totino Photography
Thomas Edison High School seniors Lazaro Isidoro (l.) and Jordy Castro (r.) finished in the Top 10 nationwide in the National Automotive Technology Competition on April 24 during a final showdown at the Jacob Javits Center.

Two seniors from Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School in Jamaica demonstrated their superior auto technician skills placing in the Top 10 nationwide in the National Automotive Technology Competition on April 24 during a final showdown at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Finalists Jordy Castro and Lazaro Isidoro were randomly assigned a 2019 Lexus and worked with local dealership Rallye Lexus in Glen Cove weeks prior to the final round to practice. Their instructor Miguel Sierra, placed first in the competitions Instructor Challenge.

“Win or lose, it’s a wonderful experience for my students because it shows them what is expected in the industry and trains them to meet those standards,” said Sierra. “I could not be more impressed and inspired by my students’ hard work, problem solving abilities, and highly technical knowledge. I look forward to following their long and successful future careers in the auto industry.”

Miguel Sierra (l.) accepting his trophy for winning the Instructor Challenge. (Photo courtesy of Dominick Totino Photography)

For their strong showing, the team, which came in ninth place out of 29 teams was awarded:

  • $10,000 Ohio Technical College Scholarship
  • $6,000-$8,000 University of Northwestern Ohio Scholarship
  • $2,000 Universal Technical Institute Scholarship
  • $3,000 Lincoln Technical Institute Scholarship
  • Snap-on Tool Bag, 8 Piece Screwdriver Set, and 2 Piece Wide Radiator Hose Pick Set

Organized by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association since 1993, the National Automotive Technology Competition is the auto industry’s largest school-to-work initiative and pits the nation’s best auto tech students against each other for the chance to win $3 million in prizes and scholarships.

The competition culminates with a three-hour, under-the-hood face-off, where students diagnose and repair automobiles that are rigged with a variety of malfunctions in front of a live New York International Auto Show audience.

(Courtesy of Dominick Totino Photography)

According to Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, the competition is designed to encourage more rigorous standards for vocational education to ensure students master the skills they need to succeed as lifelong learners, workers and citizens.

“There is a huge shortage of skilled technicians in the industry and we need these highly motivated and talented young people in dealerships across the country to make sure vehicle owners have access to technicians with the best computer and technical skills,” said Schienberg.

Speaking at the competition’s awards banquet at the opening of the Auto Show on April 20, Mark Schroeder, Commissioner New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of a new statewide automotive jobs and vocational education program.

“We look forward to working with all stakeholders to create a positive program that will benefit students and industry and ultimately the people who buy and drive cars,” said Schroeder.

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