Firestone Industrial Products (Booth #3260) is a proud sponsor of Hot Rodders of Tomorrow, a non-profit organization that helps prepare high school students for careers in automotive technology. The organization hosts a series of competitions each year that culminates when the top four teams competing at the SEMA Show and the top four from PRI meet for a final showdown. The teams will race to see who can tear apart and rebuild an engine the fastest. This year the students stand to win more than $4.8 million in cumulative scholarships to four colleges, including Ohio Technical College in Cleveland, Ohio; School of Automotive Machinists in Houston, Texas; Universal Technical Institute of Scottsdale, Arizona, which has campuses nationwide; and the University of Northwest Ohio in Lima, Ohio.
“Hot Rodders of Tomorrow is changing lives by giving opportunities to students who have a passion for working with their hands and have an aptitude for fixing cars. They are the future of the after-market industry, and we are thrilled to be part of this exceptional program,” said Mary Kay Bryja, division marketing manager, FSIP.
This year 42 high schools are participating in the popular Engine Challenge, up from five teams in 2008 when the competition first commenced. Mel Newby, automotive instructor at Sequoyah High School, has been a Hot Rodders of Tomorrow coach for six of those years. This year he is coaching the FSIP group, which is set to compete at PRI this December.
Newby says the competition has been a tremendous project for his students. “Not only does the program give these kids a place to showcase their skills, they also get to meet people from the industry and talk with future employers. It opens up so many opportunities – not to mention scholarship money – they may not have had otherwise. Plus, the team-style competition is good for them. It forces them to work together to solve problems,” Newby said.
For more information about the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow organization and its Engine Challenge, visit www.hotroddersoftomorrow.com. Be sure to watch the FSIP team duke it out along with others at PRI this December.