The New Car Dealers Foundation of British Columbia has pledged $10,000 a year in new awards for trades and business students at Okanagan College.
The annual awards, ranging from $1,000 to $2,000, will each support students in the Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship and foundation programs and the Business Administration program.
“The demand for skilled automotive service technicians and business professionals is increasing throughout the automotive sector,” says Blair Qualey, the president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of B.C.
“We see partnerships with training institutions like Okanagan College as integral to service delivery and the prosperity of our member dealerships.”
There are 29 new car dealer members in the Okanagan, including six dealerships operated by Sentes Automotive.
Adam Rich, Sentes Automotive group general manager, says he hopes the awards will encourage more young people to enter the automotive industry and stay local after graduation.
“We’re always looking for more technicians. We know the value of the Okanagan College program, we’ve hired grads in the past, and we’re thrilled to support it,” he says.
The New Car Dealers Foundation presented its first set of awards in Kelowna in April. Among the recipients was Paul Whitlock, a student in the Automotive Service Technician program.
Whitlock says he plans to complete his red seal endorsement and then go on to business school.
“This award will make it easier for me to progress through my apprenticeship with less stress about being able to afford it all,” says Whitlock. “I can’t thank the donors enough for this very generous gift. It will help me achieve my dream.”
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