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CA New Car Dealers Association Foundation Announces Scholarship Awards for 20 Auto Tech Students Across the State

“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.

Winners include:

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.

Webinar Gives Students an Insider’s View of Automotive Careers

Advanced Transportation and Logistics – Nearly 100 high school and community college students attended a webinar that provided a glimpse into what it’s like to work in the automotive industry and what skills are necessary to be successful in the field.

The “Test Drive an Automotive Tech Career” session was organized and conduct by a partnership between the automotive tech program at Chaffey College, the automotive apprenticeship program at Mt. San Jacinto College, the California New Car Dealers Association Foundation (CNCDA) and the ATL Regional Director in the Inland Empire/Desert Region. The idea for the program came from Jonathan Polidano, a faculty member at Chaffey College.

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CNCDA Scholarship Foundation: How We Can Make A Difference – A Scholarship At A Time

Written by: Danielle Whitmore, Scholarship Foundation and Outreach Manager

I’ve always liked working with my hands and working outside. Thanks to the CNCDA Scholarship, I was able to pay for education and certifications to take the next steps toward turning my interests into a full-time auto tech career.” Samuel Arias, 2019 CNCDA Scholarship Recipient.

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CNCDA New Scholarship Program Launched to Encourage Growth of Auto Tech Workforce

Muscle Cars of America – Recognizing the shortage in the auto tech workforce and the growing demand in the retail automotive industry for well-trained technicians who can work on increasingly sophisticated vehicles, the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) and its Scholarship Foundation announced today the launch of the new “CAR CAREERS” Scholarship Program.

Aimed at supporting California’s workforce development and immediate needs of the industry, this new “CAR CAREERS” program will now offer significantly larger award amounts to student recipients, along with a plan to ensure geographic diversity of awards across the state, positively impacting the communities that our dealer members serve.

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The CNCDA’s Scholarship Foundation 2.0 Vision – Retooling our Legacy

Written by: Danielle Whitmore, Scholarship Foundation and Outreach Manager

It’s almost here, but we simply couldn’t wait to tell you about the Scholarship Foundation 2.0!

Together, the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) and its Scholarship Foundation have a rich history of supporting students interested in automotive industry careers. For 26 years, we have fueled a vision to fill the fierce and valuable demand for auto technician and management roles critical to California’s retail automotive industry. Since its inception, the Scholarship Foundation has awarded scholarships to 1,326 students – totaling $1,091,437. This funding has encouraged a skilled 21st-century workforce, providing jobs that offer a stable, living wage and a rewarding lifelong career, while serving the needs of California’s franchised new car dealers.

In 2019, the Scholarship Foundation Trustees and CNCDA staff began working to reimagine the vision and direction of the Scholarship program, including providing more substantial and equitable awards geographically, ultimately creating more of an impact in the communities that our dealer members serve. 

New strategies for the 2021-22 school year include:

  • More significant awards in larger amounts of $5,000 per student recipient.  
  • Four student recipients per region, totaling 20 winners statewide. 
  • One statewide winner who will receive an additional $5,000. 

Providing equity among CNCDA’s five key regions of the Golden State through more targeted outreach and increased applicants will ensure top tier candidates are awarded funds and are committed to the industry long-term.  

CNCDA is excited to enhance our relationships with dealer members and your hiring staff.  Building and strengthening partnerships that expand the Scholarship Foundation legacy, support the future of the industry, continue to provide value to students and dealerships, and satisfy the Scholarship Foundation 2.0 approach is of critical importance to CNCDA’s Scholarship Foundation going forward. 

The work of the CNCDA Scholarship Foundation is being administered and managed by CNCDA’s Scholarship and Outreach Manager, Danielle Whitmore, hired in February of this year. The California New Car Dealers Association is funding the program along with generous donations from dealers, partners, and friends of the industry. 

Stay Tuned for the 2.0 application launch date! Please also know we welcome and encourage your support in getting the word out! Help us connect top-tier candidates to the Scholarship Foundation so we can support skilled workers at your dealerships!  

For more information visit or contact Danielle Whitmore at

Cue the Confetti! CNCDA Scholarship Foundation announces launch of the new “CAR CAREERS” Scholarship Program!

We understand the competition and need for quality, new auto tech talent is extremely fierce. CNCDA’s Scholarship Foundation is dedicated to helping grow your workforce pipeline and encouraging students to pursue promising auto tech careers at your dealerships. The CNCDA Scholarship Foundation has reworked the structure of its annual scholarship award program so that the grant amounts are much higher than previous years, which makes a greater impact on a student’s educational career, and also includes an award selection framework that will ensure geographic diversity across the state for award recipients and member dealer communities.

Under the new “CAR CAREERS” Scholarship Program, the top 4 candidates from 5 regions across the state will each be awarded a $5,000 scholarship, for a total of 20 regional awards. The top candidate from all regional awards will receive an additional $5,000 bonus included with their scholarship fund. 

The application period runs from April 15 to June 15, 2021.   Awards will be announced in August of this year to support the 2021-22 academic year.  

The goal of the CAR CAREERS scholarship program is to contribute to the success of the future automotive service industry by helping talented students fulfill their educational goals in pursuit of a promising career path in the California automotive industry. The program works to strengthen the connection between auto tech college programs and auto dealer service employers – establishing a job recruiting pathway that is beneficial to both graduates and employers. 

Member Dealers from across the state are encouraged to share scholarship application information with their employees, partners, and contacts. We have a series of tools available on our website including a flyer, Q&A, website language, and sample social media posts.   These tools can be copied and distributed easily through your dealership’s various communication channels.  Help in getting the word out and bring scholarship dollars to your community today!  Confetti is optional 😊.  

For more information visit or contact Danielle Whitmore at

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