“CAR CAREERS” Scholarship Program Aims to Support Workforce Development and
Nurture Interest in the Automotive Industry
(SACRAMENTO, CA) The California New Car Dealers Association Scholarship Foundation announced the winners of its annual “CAR CAREERS” Scholarship Program, providing more than $100,000 to deserving students pursuing careers in automotive technology. The grant recipients were selected through a competitive application process that evaluated academic performance, career interests, and industry experience.
The Foundation Board selected the top 4 candidates from 5 regions across the state, each
awarded $5,000 to cover education and training expenses. This is the first year that CNCDA has provided its scholarships under this new grant structure, which offered significantly larger award amounts to student recipients and was designed to ensure the geographic diversity of the awards across the state.
Region 1 – Sacramento & Northern California Region
- Joshua Camungao: student at American River College
- Julio Quintanilla: student at Solano Community College
- Jordan Rego: student at Universal Technical Institute
- Nikolai Hansen: student at Solano Community College
Region 2: Bay Area
- Tristan Bush: student at De Anza College
- Orlando Garcia: student at Merced College
- Carlos Hernandez: student at Merced College
Region 3: Central Valley
- Lars Luther: student at Cuesta College
- Isaiah Knight: student at Fresno City College
- Anthony Troglin: student at Fresno City College
- Scott Sheffield: student at Fresno City College
Region 4: Southern California Region
- Vincent Lagasca: student at Cypress College (statewide winner)
- German Sanchez: student at East Los Angeles College
- Chris Villalba: student at San Diego Miramar College
- Timothy Neddersen: student at Irvine Valley College
Region 5: Los Angeles County
- Student at Cypress College (Name withheld @ student request)
- Greyson Garcia: student at Pasadena City College
- John Villegas: student at Cypress College
- Marcos Alvarez: student at Rio Hondo College
Vincent Lagasca was selected as the overall statewide winner, receiving an additional $5,000 for the Peter K. Welch Honorary Scholarship. In 2013, the CNCDA Foundation established the Peter K. Welch Honorary Scholarship to support an outstanding Auto Technician candidate each academic year and honor Welch’s 23 years of service with the California New Car Dealers Association and his dedication to the Scholarship Foundation.
“We were very impressed with the students who applied for this scholarship program and are proud to be able to support them as they pursue promising careers in the auto tech industry,” said Brian Maas, CNCDA President, and CNCDA Scholarship Foundation Vice President.
Scott Sheffield, a student at Fresno City College, thanked the Scholarship Foundation for his award by saying, “This is going to be an immense help with tuition and tools. I fell in love with cars when I was watching ‘Initial D’ back in high school, and I’ve been trying to pursue that ever since so this is an amazing help.”
Each student applicant explained their interest in pursuing an auto tech career:
- Nikolai Hansen stated: “What interests me most about the automotive industry is how important cars are to our culture in America and how much people depend on the industry to produce, maintain, and repair automotive vehicles. From getting to work each day or driving across the country to visit family, we all depend on our vehicles to get us where we need to be.”
- Orlando Garcia said, “I have always been fascinated with the automotive industry. Ever since I could remember I would play with Hot Wheels, breaking them and then fixing them. I’ve always loved vehicles and now that I have been attending an automotive program, I now have the ability to work on them and fix vehicles.”
- Cypress College student said: “There’s something fulfilling about tightening the final bolt on a project – a sense of accomplishment that I haven’t found anywhere else. Being an unconventional student, who has already completed previous degrees, worked in a different field, and yet still wants to grow my skill set to transition to a vastly different career, I know that I don’t fit the mold of a traditional technician . . . I want to be able to give people, men and women alike, the peace of mind that their vehicle is in the hands of someone who cares.”
“We want to help encourage more and more students to think about the automotive industry as an attractive career option. We believe this scholarship program will help not only support the students who win, but will also serve as a tool to increase interest and awareness about the industry,” said Cheryl Bedford, Chairperson of the CNCDA Scholarship Foundation.
The CAR CAREERS Scholarship will be offered again in 2022 – and information on program specifics and the application process can be found here.