CONCORD — Students representing ten area high school auto tech programs will battle to diagnose and fix problem cars in the 2019 High School Automotive Technology Competition in Laconia Saturday, Jan. 12. Awaiting the two-person teams will be multiple stations with various cars afflicted with different mechanical “bugs." The variety of makes and models include all of the different auto manufacturer-based programs that the Community College System of New Hampshire has to offer. Each team will rotate through all ten stations. The fastest team will move on to the national finals in New York City later this year. The top winners will also receive scholarships from the New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association to attend auto tech training at New Hampshire’s community colleges.

“It’s harder to find young talent these days and there are great-paying auto tech careers with average wages of nearly $60,000,” explained Pete McNamara, president of the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association, who teamed up with the Community College System of New Hampshire and its four auto tech programs offered around the state for the competition. “These students can graduate with no debt and a great career with terrific pay waiting for them as soon as their degree is in hand,” explained Ross Gittell, chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire.  

The contest will take place Saturday, Jan. 12, from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., at Lakes Region Community College, 379 Belmont Road in Laconia. 

Contestants must diagnose and fix each problem at every tation. Students will work against the clock to repair the "bugged" cars. Points will be awarded based on the accuracy and speed at which the faults are identified and documented or resolved to get the clean vehicle over the finish line. Students lose points for failure to use tools in an appropriate and safe manner, and for violations of any safety rules or regulations. Students will have four hours to complete their work. The team with the highest points will be named the New Hampshire Champion.

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