WASHINGTON-Jake Williams and Justin Mires, two 18-year-old auto repair students at Lamar Area Voc-Tech School, Lamar, Mo., won the 1994 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills contest June 20 in Washington. Fifty-one teams representing every state in the U.S. and one Canadian province, British Columbia, competed in the contest, co-sponsored by Ford Motor Co. and the American Automobile Association. In previous years, Chrysler Corp. was a co-sponsor.
Each team was given a new Ford Mustang with 12 identical preset mechanical problems, and had 90 minutes to diagnose and repair the car. Speed and accuracy in this field competition counted for 60 percent of the score; the other 40 percent came from a written examination.
Mr. Williams and Mr. Mires each won a $5,000 scholarship and a $2,000 tool chest for winning the national contest. In second place, winning a $4,000 scholarship and a $750 tool chest each, were Nathan Marsh and Matthew Gehring of Sedro-Woolley High School, Sedro-Woolley, Wash.
In third place was Noel Arnold and David Schadler of Berks Career and Technology Center-West, Leesport, Pa. They each won a $3,000 scholarship and a $500 tool chest.
In fourth through 10th place, winning scholarships of varying amounts, were teams from Arkansas, New Jersey, Idaho, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Maine and South Carolina.
Labor Secretary Robert Reich, presenting trophies to the three top winners, said that ``today, more than ever before, what you earn depends on what you learn. You can no longer be a real auto mechanic without being a qualified technician...The commitment to ensure young people learn the skills they need is necessary across America.''
More than 1,100 high schools and vocational schools participated in this year's competition.