Icahn Automotive, an Icahn Enterprises L.P. company, which owns and operates leading repair and maintenance providers Pep Boys, AAMCO and Precision Tune Auto Care, recently announced the 15 recipients of its $2,500 “Find Your Drive” scholarships. The second annual scholarship program is part of Icahn Automotive’s “Race to 2026” initiative that aims to increase the number of trained automotive technicians across the U.S. and help fill an industry-wide talent gap projected to grow to 46,000over the next six years.
“Our scholarship program celebrates students who are driven to pursue automotive service as a profession and helps them reach their potential,” said Brian Kaner, CEO – Service. “The skills gap still exists in the U.S. and we’re passionate about using our programs to show talented, motivated students how fulfilling a technical career can be.”
Students receiving scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year are:
• Kevin Alvarenga, Mooresville, NC, NASCAR Technical Institute
• Savannah Arias, Tustin, CA, Saddleback Community College
• Justin Benson, Swedesboro, NJ, Lincoln Tech
• Christopher Floyan, Pleasant Valley, NY, Lincoln Tech
• Maverick Ellington, New Richmond, OH, NASCAR Technical Institute
• Jake Maha, Sayreville, NJ, SUNY Morrisville
• Michael Marelli, Florham Park, NJ, Universal Technical Institute
• Dylan Muench, Perryville, MO, State Technical College of Missouri
• Catherine Nelson, Philadelphia, PA, Lincoln Tech
• Michael Nyce, Middlesex, NJ, Universal Technical Institute
• Leonel Palacios, Union, NJ, Lincoln Tech
• Ramon Perez, Mahwah, NJ, Lincoln Tech
• Nelson Ruiz, Dingmans Ferry, PA, Lincoln Tech
• Ryan Schweizer, Rockaway, NJ, Universal Technical Institute
• Aaron Young, Vernal, UT, Utah Valley University
Each scholarship winner is pursuing an automotive technician degree or certification. All applicants were required to meet certain academic requirements and to provide written or video essays describing “Why I want to be a top technician,” as well as two letters of recommendation. Winners were selected by the Icahn Automotive scholarship committee. The program is designed to award 12 scholarships annually, but because several applicants’ scores tied, the committee increased the awards to 15, or $37,500 in total scholarships, for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Now one of the largest service network operators in North America, Icahn Automotive offers a broad range of opportunities and career paths, and the “Race to 2026” initiative is focused on finding new ways to make it easier for aspiring technicians to follow their passion for automotive repair and service. In addition to scholarships, the program includes partnerships with leading technical schools, and part-time work and internship opportunities during a student’s education. After graduation, a technician can start with an Icahn Automotive company performing basic maintenance and, by taking advantage of benefits such as tuition assistance, apprenticeships, company-sponsored certifications and continuing education, they can move on to more complex repairs, or progress to running a company-owned store, owning and operating a franchised business, or serving in a corporate leadership role.