Ashtabula County Technical & Career Campus (A-Tech) seniors Justin Murton and Jacob Young took 5th place at the Greater Cleveland Auto Show 27th annual Automotive Technology Competition on Sunday, February 24th at the I-X Center.
The duo worked through a series of five stations before spending 90 minutes locating and fixing “bugs” that had been placed in a 2019 GMC Terrain.
“I’m really proud of them. They were 5th out of 14,” said A-Tech Automotive Technology Instructor Bret Duris. “They benefit from people seeing their names. You can get a job because of that. They also benefit financially with the scholarships and the tools.”
Murton and Young earned $950 in scholarships. Each was also awarded a 270-piece tool set from NAPA, and shop cleaning supplies. The pair qualified for the contest through a written test in January. Young had the highest score of all the participants from 14 schools and was awarded a trophy.
Both students said it was a challenge working in front of thousands of people who were attending the show. “You have to be calm and collected to work under that pressure. The pressure is tough,” said Murton.
“I think I had three people come up to me and offer me jobs,” said Young. “The best part was having everyone there supporting me. All my family... guys from last year who competed and their families.”
Both students have already earned employment through A-Tech’s Early Placement program with Nassief Auto Group in Jefferson. Young is working primarily in Honda department. Murton is working with Fords.
Young is also weighing his college options. In addition to the scholarship he earned at the Auto Show, he received a scholarship from Stark State Community College by taking first place at the SkillsUSA Regional competition on Saturday, February 23rd.
“I made a lot of good connections,” he said, adding that he wants to continue to build his skills and plan for his future. “What am I gonna be doing when I’m 30?”
Murton said the contest made him want to keep working to improve his skills. “We love what we do. We believe we are good at what we do. But there is always room for improvement,” he said.
Great Lakes Auto helped the students prepare for the competition by loaning a 2019 GMC Terrain to the school. “We’re glad to support any student who wants to learn,” said Great Lakes co-owner John Rocco.
For more information about the A-Tech Auto Tech program for high school students or adults, call 440-576-6015 or visit www.atech.edu.