The SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program aims to introduce high-school students to the automotive customization hobby and lifestyle through real-world, hands-on educational experiences. This year, five high-school auto-shop programs across the United States participated in the program. The schools customized five ’96–’06 model-year Jeep Wrangler TJs during their spring semesters with the help of aftermarket industry companies that sponsored the builds through product donations and scheduled visits.
In 1984, SEMA and a group of industry leaders teamed to establish the nonprofit SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, whose purpose was to nurture industry leadership by supporting the educational pursuits of future automotive professionals attending an accredited college. The fund initially struggled to gain momentum, but thanks to its first major donation of $10,000, contributed by industry pioneer and SEMA Hall of Fame inductee Joan Weiand of Weiand Automotive, the fund quickly picked up steam.
Among SEMA’s chief goals as a trade association is working to ensure the industry’s future, in part by expanding youth engagement programs. The goal is to interest young talent in car culture, and ultimately to fill a variety of emerging technological, skilled, creative and administrative positions. A number of those efforts also involve collaborating on initiatives conceived and operated by outside organizations, with SEMA serving as a catalyst.
SEMA’s education team has a new initiative to connect automotive aftermarket companies with higher-education institutions. Through this grassroots approach to reaching students who are beginning to look for careers, SEMA aims to introduce the vast number of job functions available in the automotive aftermarket industry. There are a number of opportunities for companies to have a presence in their local schools and communities through SEMA by participating in career fairs, holding student interview days on campus, hosting students for a facility tour or giving a presentation in a classroom setting.
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund awarded a total of $168,000 to 61 individuals this year. That includes 50 SEMA scholarships presented to current students and 11 loan-forgiveness awards to employees of SEMA-member companies.
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund has awarded $150,000 to 58 individuals this year. This includes 45 SEMA scholarships presented to current students, and 13 loan-forgiveness awards presented to employees of SEMA-member companies. On behalf of the industry, we offer congratulations and continued success to the following award winners.
Known worldwide as the specialty-equipment industry’s premiere trade event where business gets done, the annual SEMA Show is more than a week-long extravaganza of hot aftermarket products, customized vehicles and industry networking. It’s also heavy on learning opportunities.
Experts Counsel Industry on the Hurdles and Benefits
Any media outlet—print, the Internet, radio, billboards and more—can be used to market the businesses of automotive aftermarket companies. But there may be none that offers the reach and cost-per-thousand (CPM) advantages of television. To help manufacturers, retailers, installers and even warehouse distributors learn about the benefits, perceived hurdles and costs of TV marketing, the SEMA Show will present a super-session seminar entitled “Understand and Maximize Investments in Automotive TV Programming.” The event will be presented Monday, November 3, (the day before the official opening of the SEMA Show) from 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. in room N258 adjacent to the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The SEMA Vehicle Technology Briefing Seminar program is designed to connect SEMA members to the benefits of vehicle technology and performance product-development solutions, resources and partnerships. From racing and performance design to branding and driving green, connected, safe and cool, cutting-edge technologies will be the focus of discussions at this year’s SEMA Show by industry leaders and innovators who will explain current and future systems and technology applications.
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund has awarded $152,000 to 61 individuals. The awards include 44 SEMA Scholarships, which are presented to current students, and 17 loan-forgiveness awards presented to employees of SEMA-member companies. In addition, one student was awarded a full-tuition scholarship for the 2014–2015 academic year to Ohio Technical College.
On behalf of the industry, we offer congratulations and continued success!