GLENDORA, Calif. – NHRA’s Youth And Education Services (YES) Program has made several updates in 2019, attracting four new presenting sponsors to come on board. Ford, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), Universal Technical Institute (UTI) and the Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) will not only connect with participants of the YES Program which hosts over 30,000 students annually, these organizations are also committed to taking an active role in developing and presenting career-focused curriculum that demonstrates how S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is applied in real-world careers in the automotive arena.
Ford joined the YES Program to connect with high school students nationwide and emphasize the importance of a solid education to fuel exciting careers in the automotive industry including drag racing.
“Ford’s goal is to create awareness of the opportunities available to automotive technicians,” said NHRA Funny Car driver and Ford dealership owner Bob Tasca III. “There’s a demand of almost 100,000 technicians needed each year. A senior master technician is the most sought-after position by any car dealership anywhere in the country. If we can get even a fraction of a percent of the YES Program participants to actually go to work at a Ford story being a technician, it’s a huge success for Ford and the local Ford dealers. This is real career stuff for these kids because the real world is coming at them fast.”
As a sponsor of the YES Program, SEMA is committed to supporting efforts to introduce youth to the unique environment found at racetracks and helping to grow the automotive aftermarket performance industry. Expanding its youth outreach initiatives to encompass the YES Program will allow them to reach thousands of students in a truly unique environment.
“The NHRA YES Program has a long history of inspiring kids and serves as a great introduction to many of the exciting elements our industry has to offer. SEMA is proud to be a part of such a great program,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO.
With campuses across the United States, UTI became a presenting sponsor of NHRA’s YES Program to introduce students to the opportunities available through an education at one of their automotive campuses.
“The YES Program is a natural fit for Universal Technical Institute because it gets students engaged in S.T.E.M. education, which is what our curriculum is all about,” said John Dodson, UTI vice president of business alliances and NASCAR. “NHRA has done an excellent job developing a valuable platform for the next generation of technicians and performance enthusiasts. Not only do NHRA drivers and UTI alumni share their stories, they talk about our technical training and the variety of rewarding career opportunities available to UTI graduates. We strongly believe many of our future students will be introduced to UTI through this program and ultimately go to work in exciting and fulfilling careers in motorsports and transportation.”
Through its alliance with the YES Program, Dodge//SRT and Mopar are introducing students to its Mopar CAP initiative, offering opportunities to network with dealer representatives, identify potential career opportunities and meet NHRA drag racers.
“NHRA’s YES Program is a great partnership opportunity for the FCA Mopar CAP program,” Keith Yancy, director of FCA’s Performance Institute, stated. “Having the opportunity to communicate with young people about the benefits of being a technician in our FCA dealerships – and connecting them with our local community college partners – is an important first step toward a promising career. And the chance to service and maintain vehicles from legendary brands like Dodge, Jeep®, Chrysler and Ram is an added bonus for both the students and our dealers.”
NHRA’s YES Program is the only full-time education program in motorsports providing quality educational content and activities for schools and youth organizations nationwide. The YES Program will make stops at 15 of 24 events during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Schools interested in participating in this one-of-a-kind educational experience can learn more at https://www.nhra.com/YES.