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Career

SEMA Names 10 Schools For 2019-2020 High School Build Program

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has announced the 10 participating high schools for the 2019-2020 SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program, a project that reaches, inspires and supports high school students to learn about the automotive aftermarket industry and debuted less than three years ago with just one participating school.

California’s Santa Ynez Valley Union High School is among the 10 schools that will participate in the 2019-2020 SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program, which supports students to learn about the automotive aftermarket industry.

Four schools that participated last year will return to the program this year, with six new schools joining.

“The continuous success of this program speaks volume to the positive impact auto-technology programs have when offered in high school curricula,” said Katie Hurst, SEMA youth engagement programs manager. “SEMA is proud to provide these students with an avenue to further expand their advancement to a career in the automotive industry.”

Over the course of the semester, students will gain hands-on-experience with aftermarket products, instilling them with skills in project management, installation, body-styling and team building. Vehicles incorporated in this year’s program will include third-generation Toyota 4Runners and Jeep Wrangler TJs.

The chosen high schools for the 2019-2020 SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program are:

  • Career Center High School–Winston Salem, NC
  • Comstock High School–Kalamazoo, MI
  • John Hersey High School–Arlington Heights, IL
  • McGavock High School–Nashville, TN
  • Mon Valley Career & Technology Center–Charleroi, PA
  • Omaha Public Schools Career Center–Omaha, NE
  • R.L. Turner High School–Carrollton, TX
  • Santa Fe ECO–Santa Fe, NM
  • Santa Ynez Valley Union High School–Santa Ynez, CA
  • Wichita Falls Career Education Center–Wichita Falls, TX

“The part I loved was seeing all the new aftermarket parts we got to work with,” said Rogelio Martinez, a senior at Santa Fe Early Career Opportunities High School, who participated in last year’s build. “It’s a passion for each and all of us to work with cars, and when we get neat parts like this it’s just that much better.”

Upon the completion of the builds, each vehicle will be auctioned off with the proceeds being reinvested into the program to further expand another round of builds for the 2020-2021 school year. As participants of the program, each high school will also receive industry recognition through the SEMA build website and SEMA build promotions.   

Click, here, to check out our story about C.D. Hylton High School’s SEMA Jeep build from last year’s program.

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Career

Bulldog Build: C.D. Hylton Auto Program Drives SEMA Jeep Project

Photo by Chris Cervenka Photography.

It’s the pinnacle of many automotive professionals’ careers to have a build at the SEMA Show, the automotive specialty equipment show akin to a mechanic’s Disney World. It’s a bustling show full of miles of sparkly race cars, the newest must-have products and the coolest modified vehicles you can witness in one place. 

Thanks to the SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program auto students are getting the SEMA build experience before they even graduate high school. C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, Virginia, is one of five schools modifying completely customized Jeeps with the help of SEMA. 

SEMA Education 

Last year SEMA unveiled its pilot program for high school automotive programs:  SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program. The idea was to give back to the schools and allow them to create a sustainable student build program. SEMA gave Santa Fe Early College Opportunities (ECO) High School’s automotive program in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a Jeep to completely customize with the help of sponsor-donated parts and then the school auctioned off the vehicle, with all the funds going right back into the school to help fund student builds for years to come. The 2015 4WD Jeep Wrangler Unlimited sold for more than $56,000 through the Bring a Trailer Auction. 

“Many auto tech programs have limited funds and are unable to provide students with the type of experience that we’re giving them,” said Wade Kawasaki, SEMA chairman of the board, in an official SEMA release. “We’re happy to be able to provide students with this unique opportunity to get them excited about the customization lifestyle. It’s encouraging to know that these kids will be contributing to the industry’s future.”

This year, SEMA upped the program and partnered with five high school auto programs across the country. C.D. Hylton was one of 90 schools who applied for the program and one of five schools who made the cut. 

The Build

The last week of February 2019, SEMA shipped a 2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ Sport to C.D. Hylton to completely customize. The forest green Jeep wasn’t quite up to par for a SEMA build, so the school got to work completely updating the vehicle in true rock-crawler fashion. 

Featuring the original 4.0L 6-cylinder engine and 32 RH automatic transmission, the students touched almost every piece of the car. C.D. Hylton was the only project to complete a frame off restoration in addition to cosmetic and performance modifications. The program documented the entire process on its YouTube series Bulldog Builds, named after the school’s mascot.

Eighteen aftermarket companies supported the build and the program’s mission by donating $16,000 worth of products to the school making this a one of a kind customized Jeep. 

“I think it’s very interesting how we bring all these different companies together and basically form our Jeep,” says auto student Jeffrey Zheng.

“Working on the suspension was my favorite part,” says student Braxton Tate. “Putting the lift kit on was challenging.”

“There was nothing to offer resistance while putting together so it was a big challenge without the weight of the vehicle to help,” adds instructor Ed Stevens. “We had to get creative to install it safetly and correctly.”

In just five months the students completed the Rancho lift kit, repainted the entire vehicle white and black, including the frame and roll bar, as well as a laundry list of other modifications. New leather seats were installed, engine mounts, a brand new Sony radio, as well as some performance modifications like tires and headlights all were done by students.

Photo by Chris Cervenka Photography.

“We all kind of worked in different areas of the vehicle, say from suspension to the engine to the interior,” says student Jonah Smith. 

Time was a crunch with a June deadline for the July auction and students worked during school time, after school and during their spring break to get the Jeep auction ready. 

Photo by Chris Cervenka Photography.

“ I learned a lot,” says student Amanda Neff, who had the most contact time working on the Jeep. “Sanding the body before priming and painting was my favorite part.”

With a completely new look, the Jeep sold at auction for $26,000 – money that will all go back into a new project at the school. 

“Seeing the progress was really a huge factor to me,” says auto student Jeffrey. “From where it was to what it is now, you can really see the huge changes and the differences. When I look at the Jeep we have now it makes you think ‘oh my gosh I put in the work for this and made this what it is now.’ It’s pretty awesome.”  

Follow Hylton Automotive on YouTube to watch the entire Bulldog Builds series, which includes the SEMA Jeep and other project updates every Thursday!

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News

SEMA High School Program Expands From 1 To 10 In Just 2 Years

The SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program will provide 10 high schools with hands-on-learning opportunities and expose hundreds of students to the $44.6 billion automotive specialty equipment industry.

The SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program, now entering its third year, will provide 10 high schools with hands-on-learning opportunities and expose hundreds of students to the $44.6 billion automotive specialty equipment industry.

The program began in 2017, with one vehicle and one high school. Using donated parts from 23 SEMA member manufacturers, students from Santa Fe Early College Opportunities Applied Science Magnet High School (Santa Fe ECO), from Santa Fe, NM, built a ’15 four-wheel-drive Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that was auctioned off to raise money so that the program could be replicated and even grow. The following school year, the SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program expanded to include five high schools. This year, the program will include 10 vehicles consisting of Jeep Wrangler TJ’s and 3rd Generation Toyota 4Runners. 

The program aims to engage students in the customization lifestyle and introduce them to a career path within the automotive aftermarket industry by connecting high school automotive shop classes with specialty-equipment manufacturers products to build one-of-a-kind customized vehicles.

“We launched this program with the goal of offering students a hands-on learning experience while enhancing existing curriculum in high school automotive shop courses,” said Katie Hurst, SEMA youth engagement programs manager. “Not only did we reach that goal, but the program was so successful that now we are expanding the program to reach even more high school automotive shop students.”

Although applications to participate in the 2019-2020 vehicle build have already closed, SEMA is currently in the process of securing parts donations from parts manufacturers, and volunteers to serve as industry mentors, to students.

By contributing parts, participating companies will have their product installed on the vehicle(s) as well as receive recognition through the build website and in SEMA build promotions.

“The program not only provides promising students with applicable skillsets and knowledge, but gives them a great sense of community,” said Hurst. “Through teamwork, passion and the generosity of our sponsors, we are truly able to make these vehicle builds one of a kind.”

In addition to the High School Vehicle Build Program, SEMA’s Educational Program includes Scholarship & Loan Forgiveness, SEMA Show Student Programs and career opportunities through the SEMA Career Center.

Companies interested in donating parts for the builds or learning more about the High School Vehicle Build Program can visit www.sema.org/student-builds or contact Hurst at [email protected].

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Career

Student SEMA Jeep Builds Earn More Than $130K At Auction

The 2004 Jeep Wrangler customized by R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton, TX, sold for $28,500 at auction. (photo credit: Collins Bros Jeep and Made Brand Studio)

Five Jeep Wranglers customized by students as part of this year’s SEMA High School Build Program have been sold for a combined $127,000. Bring a Trailer donated 100% of their buyers fees of $6,350 to bring the total earnings to $133,350.

The funds will be used by SEMA to provide another build opportunity to the same five schools and partner with five additional schools next year.

“We are thrilled by the results of the auctions and moved by how much the automotive community continues to support this program,” said Zane Clark, SEMASenior Director of Education. “Thanks to this support we are now looking to expand the program to include 10 schools next year, giving more students throughout the country an opportunity to take part in a hands-on vehicle build experience.”

Each of the five high schools received a Jeep Wrangler in early February 2019 to customize using donated aftermarket products from partnering sponsor companies. Upon completion the Jeeps were auctioned during SEMA Week of Customs by program partner Bring a Trailer Auction Site.

Results for each auction are:

Santa Fe Early College Opportunities (photo credit: Gerry Ruelas Photography)
  • July 15-22: 2005 Jeep Wrangler customized by the Santa Fe Early College Opportunities (ECO) in Santa Fe, NM. Sold for $26,000.
Comstock High School (photo credit: Beam Photography)

July 16-23: 2004 Jeep Wrangler customized by the Comstock High School auto shop in Kalamazoo, MI. Sold for $20,250.

Santa Ynez Valley Union High School (photo credit: SEMA)
  • July 17-24: 1997 Jeep Wrangler customized by Santa Ynez Valley Union High School in Santa Ynez, CA. Sold for $26,250.
C.D. Hylton High School (photo credit: Chris Cervenka Photography)
  • July 18-25: 2002 Jeep Wrangler customized by C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, VI. Sold for $26,000.
R.L. Turner High School (photo credit: Collins Bros Jeep and Made Brand Studio)
  • July 19-26: 2004 Jeep Wrangler customized by R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton, TX. Sold for $28,500.

“We at Bring a Trailer were very excited to partner again with SEMA to auction these special custom Jeeps,” said Randy Nonnenberg, Bring a Trailer Co-founder & CEO. “Young enthusiasts are key to the future of the automotive hobby, and we applaud SEMA for furthering their investment in this program and these students. We are very happy to again be donating our entire 5% auction fees on these Jeeps to the same great cause.”

“We are grateful to all of the sponsors who have made this program possible,” Clark said. “To expand from a one-vehicle pilot program last year to 10 builds in our third year speaks volumes of our sponsors and their commitment to fostering the future generation of our industry.”

To learn more about the program and the vehicles, visit sema.org/student-builds.

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Career

SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program Sending 5 Jeeps To Auction

Five unique Jeep Wranglers from the SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program will be sold at auction on BringaTrailer.com beginning July 15, as part of the “SEMA Week of Customs.”

SEMA’s High School Vehicle Build Program, each vehicle was customized by high school students working with industry volunteers and manufacturers. Sales from the vehicles will be used to fund future student projects, thereby creating a sustainable and growing program that provides students with real-world, hands-on educational experiences.

The five builds were funded in part from money raised from a pilot program the previous year. The program which debuted in the 2017-2018 school year included one vehicle that sold for more than $56,000. The proceeds were used to successfully expand the program to include five high schools in 2018-2019.

“We didn’t know what to expect during our first year,” said Zane Clark, SEMA senior director of education. “But we’re encouraged and excited that we were able to expand and grow the program. We’re anxious and hoping that the community will see the positive results that came from the pilot program, and that they will come out and support the program again this year.”

Supporters will be able to bid on the vehicles beginning July 15 through BringaTrailer.com. One vehicle will be released each day for five consecutive days, and will be available for bidding for seven days following its launch date. Proceeds from the vehicles will be reinvested into the program.

Details for the vehicles and auctions are:


Santa Fe Early College Opportunities (photo credit: Gerry Ruelas Photography)

July 15: 2005 Jeep Wrangler customized by the Santa Fe Early College Opportunities (ECO) in Santa Fe, NM. Vehicle features a vented hood, trail doors, a 3/5” suspension kit with a 5” stretch from Rock Krawler Suspension and a full body repaint.


Comstock High School (photo credit: Beam Photography)

July 16: 2004 Jeep Wrangler customized by the Comstock High School auto shop in Kalamazoo, MI. The only Jeep in the program with a hard top, this vehicle includes a roof rack form Just Jeep ‘N Stuff, LED headlights, full carpet replacement, bumpers, tire carrier and rock sliders from JcrOffroad, 4” Skyjacker suspension kit and a fresh coat of paint.

C.D. Hylton High School (photo credit: Chris Cervenka Photography)

July 17: 2002 Jeep Wrangler customized by C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, VI. Features include a frame-off restoration with a painted chassis, extensive under-hood improvements, full body repaint, new windshield from Safelite, front door weatherstrip from Steele Rubber Products, new hood from LQK/Keystone and a Rancho Suspension 3.5” short arm suspension kit.

Santa Ynez Valley Union High School (photo credit: SEMA)

July 18: 1997 Jeep Wrangler customized by Santa Ynez Valley Union High School in Santa Ynez, CA. Vehicle includes 37” Atturo Off-Road Tires with Black Rock Wheels, Rugged Ridges products, T-REX grille, Superlift Suspension 4” lift kit and LLumar window tint.

R.L. Turner High School (photo credit: Collins Bros Jeep and Made Brand Studio)

July 19: 2004 Jeep Wrangler customized by R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton, TX. Vehicle features winch and front bumper donated by Collins Bro’s Jeep, as well as custom seat belts from Seatbelt Planet, wheels from Rolling Big Power, and a trail rocker from Painless Performance.

For more information about the program and the vehicles, visit sema.org/student-builds or contact SEMA Youth Engagement Programs ManagerKatie Hurst at [email protected].

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Career

Student-Built Jeep Wrangler Sells For $53,500 At Auction

The customized ’15 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited built through a collaboration between SEMA Education and students of the Santa Fe Early College Opportunities Auto Tech School (Santa Fe ECO) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was auctioned off for $53,500—with all the proceeds going back to the school.

On June 26, the customized Jeep was auctioned through Bring-a-Trailer (BaT)—an online auction marketplace for buying and selling special vehicles. The auction resulted in a bid war at the end, finally closing at $53,500. One hundred percent of the proceeds will be used to fund another project that will continue to support and educate students about vehicle builds and careers in the automotive industry, according to SEMA.

“We at Bring-a-Trailer are very excited to partner with SEMA to auction this special Jeep build,” said Randy Nonnenberg, BaT co-founder and CEO. “We also know that young enthusiasts are key to the future of the automotive hobby, and we applaud SEMA for investing in this program and these students. We are very happy to also be donating our entire 5% auction fee on this Jeep to the same great cause.”

With the auction raising $53,500 and BaT donating 5% of the auction fee, the grand total raised for the school is $56,175.

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited build collaboration also involved 24 automotive aftermarket companies who contributed parts for the one-of-a-kind Jeep.

“The industry has really supported this project,” said Zane Clark, SEMA senior director of education. “Their generosity has elevated the build beyond our expectations and created a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience for the students.”

 

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Career

Santa Fe ECO Student-Built Jeep Build Ready For Auction

Photo courtesy SEMA.

Students in the Santa Fe Early College Opportunities (ECO) Auto Shop Program in Santa Fe, New Mexico, have completed the custom jeep build they started in late 2017 with SEMA Education. Next stop, the auction block.

Later this month, the jeep will be auctioned online through Bring-A-Trailer, with 100% of the proceeds going back to the school to fund another project to continuously support the auto program and educate students about vehicle builds and jobs in automotive.

More than 100 students participated in the pilot program between SEMA and the Santa Fe ECO for about six months. During the program, the students completely oversaw and executed the project vehicle build using a pre-owned vehicle purchased and donated by SEMA.

According to SEMA, upgrades and product donations from nearly two-dozen manufacturers to modify the four-wheel-drive Jeep include:

  • A Magnum grip shift handle kit part, front nodular iron differential cover and rear nodular iron differential cover (donated by B&M/Driven Performance Brands).
  • Bumpers, inner fender liners and slider steps (donated by Bodyguard Truck Accessories).
  • A supercharger kit (donated by Edelbrock).
  • A cat-back system 409s-single rear exit – American Thunder (donated by Flowmaster/Driven Performance Brands).
  • A 4.5-in. Stage 3 suspension kit and wheels (donated by ICON Vehicle Dynamics).
  • An air intake with a snorkel system, oil filter and cabin air filter (donated by K&N Engineering).
  • A light package (donated by Metra: The Installer’s Choice).
  • A tire carrier, vented hood, hood catches and an antenna (donated by Rugged Ridge/Truck Hero).

“The final build is amazing,” said Zane Clark, SEMA’s senior director of education. “Our hope was to provide students with a unique experience that would educate and inspire future industry professionals, and the end result is a top-quality vehicle that looks great and performs remarkably.”

“The students gained valuable hands-on experience that they could not get in the classroom,” said Chris Coriz, instructor at the Santa Fe ECO. “We’re excited to see the vehicle move on to the auction block and raise funds to begin the next project.”

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Career

VIDEO: Santa Fe ECO Students Build Custom Jeep With SEMA

SEMA has partnered with students from Santa Fe Early College Opportunities Applied Science Magnet School (Santa Fe ECO) Auto Tech School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to complete a 2015 4 WD Jeep Wrangler Unlimited build. The SEMA pilot program is designed to support and engage high school students in automotive. Once completed, the Jeep will be auctioned through Bring-A-Trailer in early June to raise funds for the school’s next vehicle build.

Video provided by SEMA Education.