More than 70 high school students from vocational high school programs in western New York recently participated in the Mechanics Competition sponsored by NAPA AUTO PARTS at the WNY (Western New York) Farm Show. This is the second year NAPA has had a presence at this event.
Previously, NAPA donated the prizes. This year, in addition to providing the prizes for the top ten Mechanics Competition winners, members of the NAPA team donated their time, serving as judges for the event.
The judging panel included Ed Buelens, Jack Hirsch, Jim Gaczewski, and Bob Gugino, owner of Bison Automotive, a NAPA AutoCare Center in Buffalo, New York.
Gugino explained that the student competitors rotated among various stations that tested their knowledge of automotive parts, the use of various tools, and the skills required to maintain and repair equipment. For example, at one table the students were challenged with identifying a variety of automotive parts and at another table they were asked to explain what was wrong with the parts displayed. Students also had a chance to demonstrate their skill at plugging a tire, making flares on the end of tubing, and wiring a circuit both in series and in parallel.
“The students were judged on the time it took them to complete a task as well as the quality of their work,” Gugino added. “The judging experience was very rewarding for me.
“I enjoy working with young people and serve on the Automotive Advisory Board for Erie 1 BOCES (Board of Cooperative Services), a high school that services the greater Buffalo area. So, I was happy to have the opportunity to interact with these young, aspiring technicians at this year’s Mechanics Competition for high school students. A lot of them displayed quite a bit of confidence in their abilities and they seemed to enjoy themselves, too.”
The first and second place grand prize winners received a 500-lb. capacity Carlyle four drawer service cart complete with pliers and a 7-piece SAE and metric wrench set. The eight runner up winners were awarded an eight-piece Carlyle screwdriver set.
More than 90 years ago, the National Automotive Parts Association ("NAPA") was created to meet America’s growing need for an effective auto parts distribution system. Today, 91% of do-it-yourself customers recognize the NAPA brand name. We have over 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS Stores nationwide serving all 50 states with a unique inventory control system that helps you find the exact part that you need.