A Test of Skills for Batavia Career and Technical Education Students
Written by Alex Feig on January 23, 2020
Batavia, New York, January 22, 2020 – Each year the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association hosts a competition that is held at the Erie Community College Vehicle Technology Training Center (ECC-VTTC) in Orchard Park, New York. This event, called the Ron Smith Auto Tech Competition, is open to any high school senior or junior who is enrolled in an automotive program. This competition draws students from seven Western New York counties. The winners of this contest, along with their high school instructor, receive an all-expense paid trip to New York City to compete in the nationals at the National Automotive Technology Competition.
Six students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center’s Auto Technology Program competed in this year’s Ron Smith Auto Tech Competition.
During this day-long event students, who competed in teams of two, were scored on their knowledge of tools, measuring instruments, specific vehicle components, and job interview skills. Students were also required to diagnose and repair a number of preassigned problems under a car’s hood. During the Tire Rodeo, students were put to the test as they raced to replace a damaged tire in the quickest time.
Seniors Lucas Doran from Alexander CS, and Patrick Willis from Attica CS, took second place in the automotive competition. John McCarthy from Alexander CS, and Michael Roberts from Attica CS, are both seniors and they also competed in the automotive competition. This team took fourth place and just missed third place by only one point. Devon Zinter from Byron-Bergen CS, and Joshua Roberts from Attica CS, are both juniors. This team took second place in the Tire Rodeo.
All four seniors were offered the opportunity for tuition-free enrollment into the two-year Ford Automotive Student Service Education Training (ASSET) Program at Erie Community College. Lucas and Patrick each received a $750 scholarship to the college of their choice, tool boxes, and an assortment of tools. Mike and John received a $250 college scholarship. Devon and Joshua won jump boxes and have qualified to return to next year’s competition as seniors to represent the Batavia CTE Center.
Bob Yates is the Auto Technology Instructor at the Batavia CTE Center. He noted it’s not always about winning but more importantly, how a competition gives students the opportunity to learn about their skill set and how they can improve.
“All of these students worked hard preparing for the competition both during school as well as over winter break. The seniors spent time at Basil Ford working with a senior technician preparing for the debugging of a 2019 Ford Ranger. The second part of the competition was based on a series of stations which we prepare for during class and shop time,” Yates said. “I am very proud of the students and the effort they put in. I was complimented several times about the professionalism, politeness, and knowledge our students displayed during the competition. They were a great representation of our program and the Batavia CTE Center.”