Dateline: NH, May 2017

New Hampshire’s Finest Compete at the Nationals

Jean Conlon, Programs Administrator

Jean Conlon

For the first time, the high school automotive technology team selected to represent NH at the National Automotive Technology Competition needed to complete a written test and a special hands-on competition set up by NHADA.

Having succeeded at that, NH’s winning team from Salem High School of Tyler Thibodeau and Will Bickford subsequently spent an exciting few days in New York City competing with their instructors Matt McCarthy and Joe Liebke.

This is the toughest competition in the country. Congratulations to these students and their instructors for representing our state at this national contest.

Special thanks go to Jeff Platek and the service team at Betley Chevrolet for providing the Chevy Malibu needed for practicing and assisting with the training, and to Mark Tulley of Tulley Automotive Group for providing transportation to New York City.

Also, George and Annamae Dykstra were with the team every step of the way — setting up training, driving the team to and from New York, and cheering the team on.

Also cheering on the Salem High School team were Will’s parents, Pam and Bill Bickford, and Tyler’s mom, Stacy Thibodeau, and his grandfather, Bob Genesse.

The National Automotive Technology Competition is a test of skill, a measure of knowledge, and a race against the clock — all rolled into one. It features the nation’s best high school automotive education students from across the country competing for the title of The Nation’s Best Automotive Technician.

The competition takes place over the course of two days. On the first day, contestants are tested on their knowledge of tools, measuring instruments, specific vehicle components, and job interview skills. The Workstation Challenge accounted for 60 percent of the total team score.

On the second day, each two-person student team has an allotted amount of time in which to diagnose and repair a number of preassigned problems under a car’s hood. Each correctly repaired bug is worth a set number of points depending on the level of difficulty. The On-Car Challenge accounted for 40 percent of the total team score.

This year more than $3 million in prizes and scholarships were to be awarded to participating students and schools thanks to the generous support of almost every major automaker, industry suppliers, local dealerships, and dealers associations.