Dylan Ahrndt, Joel Hartstack, Dylan Wertz and Alan Zimmerman have received $1,250 tool scholarships from the Society of Collision Repair Specialists and the March Taylor Memorial Fund, with support from Snap-on.
Ahrndt, Hartstack, Wertz and Zimmerman are 2017 SkillsUSA National Championship gold medalists.
“As the industry and mainstream media report on increasing challenges related to shortages of skilled tradespeople, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists, the March Taylor Memorial Fund and Snap-on are working to make sure that those entering into the collision repair industry – and working hard to excel in it – are both recognized and rewarded for their efforts,” the organizations said in a news release.
Ahrndt (Ridgewater College Willmar in Minnesota) and Wertz (Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers in Ohio) won SkillsUSA gold medals in the Automotive Refinishing category.
Hartstack (Southwestern Community College in Iowa) and second-time recipient Zimmerman (Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers in Ohio) won SkillsUSA gold medals in the Collision Repair category.
“This is a way to fill a very critical gap in the future of our industry,” SCRS Chairman Kye Yeung said. “We need to get kids, and their families to see trades as a viable future, because the country needs talented, ambitious kids to fill the technical roles in working on the highly-sophisticated vehicles we are presented with. We want to honor and encourage the ambition these competitors have demonstrated and I want to see SCRS working to help students like these find really rewarding careers in our industry.”
Greg Rintala, Snap-on national sales manager for industrial-education sales, noted that Snap-on is a longtime supporter of SkillsUSA.
“SkillsUSA along with the technical training programs in high schools and colleges in the USA are part of the solution to the skills gap,” Rintala said. “Teaming up with SCRS and the March Taylor Memorial Fund to give these winners the professional tools they need will ease their way to learning their craft and performing their job when they get out in the workplace. That should help them lead a successful life with a dignified career supporting themselves and their families.”
In 2016, SCRS announced the launch of the SCRS Career Center, aiming to help students post resumes and connect with employers in the industry. The SCRS Career Center was created as part of an extensive network that includes the Auto Care Association and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).