John Holly, Education Manager at NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech), was invited to serve as one of six judges for the Automotive Service Technology contest during SkillsUSA’s National Championships. He will be the first representative from NASCAR Tech—and parent company Universal Technical Institute (UTI)—to serve as a judge at the national level in the automotive competition.
Kicking off on Monday, June 23, this week-long competition is the showcase for the best career and technical students in the nation. Open to high school and post-secondary students, the event aims to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance, and to stress the importance of continual training and education to meet the needs of industry.
The SkillsUSA Championships is the culmination of thousands of smaller contests that begin locally and continue through the state level, and it includes hundreds of competitive events ranging from Automotive Refinishing Technology to Aviation Maintenance Technology to Basic Health Care Skills to Cabinetmaking. Next week’s Championships are taking place in Kansas City, to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, also next week.
Judges for the Championships are chosen based on industry experience combined with their support for SkillsUSA.
According to Jerry Ellner, National Director of High School Development at Universal Technical Institute, “John was the logical choice based first on his passion for student success, as well as his experience in North Carolina as a SkillsUSA supporter.”
John has been judging SkillsUSA competitions at both the regional and state level in North Carolina for several years, and was so inspired by the positive influence he saw the events had on students that he decided to start a Top Tech Challenge at NASCAR Tech. Open to high school students from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee, NASCAR Tech’s Top Tech Challenge gives students the opportunity to hone their automotive skills by completing a number of tasks in a competitive setting and contending with other students to win scholarships and other prizes.
“With so much discussion around closing the Skills Gap, events such as the Top Tech Challenge are a great opportunity to get in front of our nation’s younger generation to encourage them to begin thinking about their careers early on,” said Holly. As a result of his efforts, the Top Tech Challenge has since grown to be a turn-key event at all of UTI’s 11 campuses and open to any high school in the country interested in participating.
UTI is a Gold Sponsor of SkillsUSA, offering over $3 million in scholarship opportunities. For more than a decade, the school has played a major role in the motorcycle competition and for the past few years has participated in the marine competition as well. With Holly now serving as a judge for the Automotive Technology contest, UTI will continue to grow its involvement in the event and with it, its support of SkillsUSA. UTI has added scholarship categories to include welding and fabrication, and has been invited back for the third consecutive year to be the keynote speaker at the SkillsUSA Leadership Conference.
NASCAR Tech is the exclusive educational partner of NASCAR and one of 11 campuses operating under Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (NYSE: UTI), the leading provider of post-secondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians.