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High school seniors get a head start on an in demand career

Students compete in NFADA AutoTech Competition
Posted at 6:33 PM, Jan 17, 2020

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — Soon to be graduates from over a dozen career and technical high schools across Western New York competed in NFADA's annual AutoTech Competition on Friday. Showing employers in the auto industry what they learned in school.

"I'm a fourth generation mechanic in my family, so it's kind of in my blood," said Hunter Stamp, a senior at Orleans-Niagara BOCES.

The auto industry is a lot different than when Stamp's grandfather was under the hood.

"In this day and age with all the computers that are developing in cars, where it's not really mechanical anymore," Stamp said. "It's all really software."

John Gorman, the lead technician at Paddock Chevrolet, was judging the competition. He said there's been a growing need for auto workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 45,000 auto service jobs will need to be filled through 2026. Charlie Keller, the president of Keller Chevrolet, said the BOCES programs are where future employees get their start.

"They're able to fill positions at all the dealerships in Western New York," Keller said.