The SEMA education department encompasses all of SEMA’s education efforts, including engaging youth in the automotive aftermarket industry, fostering employment efforts, professional education for SEMA members, and the SEMA Scholarship Program. The department’s mission is to provide the automotive aftermarket with outstanding professional development and training resources.
Scholarship Committee Member News
The deadline is approaching for the SEMA Memorial Scholarship and Loan Forgiveness program, with applications due Wednesday, April 1. Each year, the scholarship fund gives resources to students pursuing automotive careers in a variety of areas, from accounting to manufacturing. Scholarship awards range from $2,000 to $3,000, with $5,000 going to the top individual. In 2014, 45 students were awarded scholarships, and 17 current employees of SEMA-member companies received $2,000 loan-forgiveness awards.
This past fall, SEMA Education partnered with the automotive technology department at Cypress College for a career workshop, where nearly 200 students had a chance to interact with industry heavy-hitters in a variety of companies and fields that included everything from engineering andmanufacturing to sales and marketing.
The graying of the automotive specialty-equipment market is a theme that is currently receiving attention from SEMA’s Board of Directors, and Chair-Elect Doug Evans is especially passionate about the topic. He believes that there are two important reasons to pull young people into the industry: cultivating a new generation of consumer and ensuring the future success of the market.
The SEMA Show Student Program gives young people a glimpse of the industry as part of the association’s effort to reach out and pull in the next generation of professionals to the specialty-equipment market. Last year’s event boasted record participation by more than 400 attendees from 45 colleges and technical institutions.
Ask professionals across the industry what they need in an employee, and they will give an assortment of answers depending on their niche and role within a company. Some employers look for a certain skill set. Often, this expertise is very specific and, as a result, elusive in the applicant pool. Tray Smith’s mail-order company, H&H Classic Parts, is like many retail businesses in that it depends on a strong sales team. Finding the right fit is not always as easy as it sounds, however.
You’ve mulled it over with management. It’s consistently on the agenda at meetings. And you know that even—especially—small- and medium-sized companies are already reaping huge rewards. In fact, you’ve been contemplating creating a program for months—even years.
But you’ve yet to actually take the next step and start an internship program at your organization.
The 2013 SEMA Show student program brought record participation, with more than 400 students attending from approximately 45 colleges and institutions across North America. The program’s goals are simple: first, to expose the next generation to the opportunities available in the automotive aftermarket; second, to build bridges between educational partners and SEMA; and finally, to allow the students a once-in-a-lifetime experience to connect with industry leaders and influencers.
The SEMA Show Student Program offers educators and students the opportunity to attend the annual SEMA Show. The program is designed for “qualified and motivated students.” The primary objective is to provide unique learning experiences that integrate the student’s field of study with actual business and trade-show opportunities in the automotive aftermarket industry. Students who participate in the program will:
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund is dedicated to fostering the next generation of automotive aftermarket industry leaders and innovators. Scholarship awards range from $2,000–$3,000, with $5,000 going to the top student. Assistance is available for career paths in the automotive industry in accounting, engineering, racecar driver/crew, administration, information technology, sales/marketing, advertising, manufacturing, technicians, design/graphics, photo/journalism and transportation. In addition, a full-tuition scholarship, valued at up to $29,400, is awarded to one student attending Ohio Technical College.