SEMA News—September 2021


By Juan Torres

Next-Gen Leaders

Getting youth involved in the automotive industry is a major strategic focus for SEMA. The association invests in the future of the automotive industry through programs such as the SEMA Scholarship Program, the SEMA High School Build Program, SEMA Young Guns, SEMA Show and PRI Trade Show Student Programs, and the SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN)—all of which help develop the industry’s next generation of leaders and innovators. The following are articles that have been recently written about SEMA’s dedicated efforts to encourage youth to be a part of the aftermarket industry.

Shop Owner

Shop OwnerSEMA supports future industry innovators by providing scholarships to students pursuing careers in the automotive industry, and loan-forgiveness awards to employees of SEMA-member companies. Shop Owner ensures that its readers know when they can apply for financial assistance from the SEMA Scholarship Program.

In The Garage

In the Garage

The SEMA Young Guns program offers young builders the opportunity to earn a spot in the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition, held each year at the SEMA Show. Reporter Scotty Lachenauer did a feature on Brad Swaney’s ’71 Chevy C10, which won the overall 2019 SEMA Young Guns title.

The ShopThe Shop

Each year, YEN presents the Young Executive of the Year Award to a young individual who has made a positive impact on the industry. In 2020, the group recognized AllPro Distributing CEO Thomas Harrell, who has led the company since 2018.



Heard on Social Media

“The SEMA Show Memorial Scholarship Fund awarded $307,000 to 106 individuals this year, including scholarships for current students and loan-forgiveness awards to employees of SEMA-member companies.”Autobody News, via Facebook

“I was approached with the opportunity to be a part of the team to help judge the SEMA Battle of the Builders Young Guns Competition to determine the Top 10, and I couldn’t say no!”“Riding With Alex Taylor,” via YouTube

“The SEMA Young Executives Network will host a Facebook Live chat featuring Chris Blair, executive VP and GM of World Wide Technology Raceway.”Auto Care Week/The Greensheet, via Twitter

Brad got this truck when he was 14. Built it, and took it to SEMA ’19—Won, Battle of the Builders, Young Guns!“C10 Talk,” via Facebook

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