Giving Some 'Extra Credit' Where Credit Is Due

Giving Some ‘Extra Credit’ Where Credit Is Due

We all know it takes a lot to be an automotive technician. It takes drive, ambition, a strong work ethic, problem-solving techniques and an ability to work with your hands, not to mention a large investment in tools and education.

So it’s important to give credit where credit is due. Within our magazines and on our websites ( and, you’ll see winners of various automotive awards and scholarships. As a member of this industry, we are proud to recognize those who have been honored for their dedication to repair excellence, and their commitment to training and education.

Just ask Ed Sunkin, editor of Tomorrow’s Technician and Underhood Service, ImportCar’s sister publications, who wants to get the word out about another award that is presented to the top automotive training schools. Now entering its third year, Tomorrow’s Technician magazine, along with third-year co-sponsor Chicago Pneumatic and first-year co-sponsor WIX Filters, have joined forces to recognize the top schools in the nation.

As the editor of Tomorrow’s Technician, Ed gets to visit many of these schools across the country and meet some of the industry’s brightest future technicians. And, most of these students credit their automotive instructors as the reason they plan to pursue a career in the automotive field.

“Most of the students in today’s automotive classes are hard workers who have a desire to learn about vehicle technology and how to repair these cars, trucks and agricultural equipment,” comments Sunkin.

“As a shop owner who hires technicians, you see first-hand the readiness of today’s graduating workforce. This is why we feel you would be a good candidate to nominate a high school or post-secondary trade school as having the top school automotive program in the nation.

“Maybe you attended this school years before or work on its advisory committee today. Or, maybe your son or daughter is taking automotive courses at this school that you feel is tops. Or, this school is in your community and you have hired techs from its past graduating classes.

“So, we urge you, owners and operators of independent repair shops, to nominate a school. Simply go to and complete the short form. That school will automatically be nominated and notified of the nomination.”

The contest is open to any school — high school or post-secondary — that currently has a subscription to Tomorrow’s Technician, either in print or online, and is NATEF certified.

Instructors and administrators from past winners of the award, Ohio Technical College (OTC), Cleveland, OH, (2009 winner) and Waubonsee Community College (WCC), Sugar Grove, IL, (2008 winner), said just being recognized as “School of the Year” was in itself an honor among so many schools in the nation. And, finalists each year share in a total prize package from contest sponsors. Last year, Chicago Pneumatic provided $25,000 worth of tools and equipment to the winning school and three finalists.

So take a few minutes to nominate the school you think is a top school in the nation. This is your chance to provide some “extra credit” to a deserving school.

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