By Ashley Reyes
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.
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, which debuted less than three years ago with just one participating school.
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 volumes 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, North Carolina
- Comstock High School – Kalamazoo, Michigan
- John Hersey High School – Arlington Heights, Illinois
- McGavock High School – Nashville, Tennessee
- Mon Valley Career & Technology Center – Charleroi, Pennsylvania
- Omaha Public Schools Career Center – Omaha, Nebraska
- R.L. Turner High School – Carrollton, Texas
- Santa Fe ECO – Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Santa Ynez Valley Union High School – Santa Ynez, California
- Wichita Falls Career Education Center – Wichita Falls, Texas
Rogelio Martinez, a senior at Santa Fe Early Career Opportunities (ECO) High School who participated in last years’ build, shared his experience on what the program meant to him. “The part I loved was seeing all the new aftermarket parts we got to work with. 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.