(Bradenton, FL—April 30, 2015) Manatee Technical College students Dylan Jones and Tim Thompson took first place in the 2015 Florida Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition.
Thompson and Jones are high school seniors who are dually enrolled at Manatee Technical College in the Automotive Service Technology career certificate program.
In a very spirited hands-on competition, Thompson and Jones had to compete against nine other teams to work as quickly and skillfully as possible to diagnose and fix uniformly “bugged” Ford vehicles.
The two winners brought home a box full of tools and $25,000 in scholarship opportunities to the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH), Universal Technical Institute in Orlando, or Seminole State College. “The scholarships were the driving force [for competing],” said Thompson. “Having a business degree helps if you want to run a shop later on,” Jones explained.
Thompson and Jones will represent Florida at the national competition, which will be held June 6-10 at Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. The competition is co-sponsored by Ford Motor Company and AAA, who will provide an expense-paid trip to the national finals for the winning two-person team from each state and their instructor (Jose Cestero).
The students wanted to thank especially Richard Falco, their automotive instructor last year, for giving of his own time to come back to help them prepare for this year’s state competition. The former MTC instructor had experience training other winning teams.
To qualify to compete at the state level, students had to demonstrate their automotive knowledge by taking a written exam. The top ten teams who scored the highest in the state participated in the “hands-on” competition. The state competition was held in Sanford, Florida, on April 24.