LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 18, 2001)—Wayne King of Gossco Retreading, St. Johnsbury, Vt., and Dick Nordness of the Northwest Tire Dealers Association, Kennewick, Wash., have become the first two recipients of the International Tire & Rubber Association Foundation Inc.'s Dwight Peel Scholarship.
Each will receive $1,000 toward the cost of attending the ITRA's Commercial Tire Service (CTS) Instructor Training and Certification Program.
The award, which ITRA established earlier this year, honors Canadian high school student Dwight Peel who died June 27, 1998, when a truck tire he was inflating blew off the rim and struck him in the head two days after his 17th birthday. The ITRA plans to offer 10 scholarships this year in Dwight's name aimed at educating commercial tire service technicians to avoid risks associated with servicing commercial tire and wheel assemblies. The remaining eight winners will be announced in the near future, the ITRA said.
Candidates for the Peel grants meet a set of qualifications established by the ITRA Foundation Board. Scholarships are awarded to organizations with less than $2 million in sales and who have no training assistance from their suppliers, thus making the program available to commercial truck tire dealerships that otherwise could not afford to attend the CTS program.
One of the two recipients announced so far, Mr. King of Gossco Retreading, has been changing tires the last year of his four years with the dealership. "He and the company are very concerned about safety. We will feel so much better knowing that procedures are being done right," said Sally Gossco, president and great granddaughter of the company´s founder. "We appreciate this generous award because we couldn´t afford to send someone to the ITRA training without it," she added
Dick Nordness, executive director of the NWTDA, is a major supporter of the ITRA CTS program. Under his leadership, the NWTDA has arranged for certified instructors, including ITRA Director of Training Kevin Rohlwing, to conduct tire service technician classes in Washington and Oregon. Mr. Nordness plans to attend the certification training in August so that he can continue offering this educational instruction in remote areas of the Northwest as well as Idaho and Alaska.
"I am very excited about this opportunity," he said. "This is a really good program needed by the whole industry.
"The ITRA Foundation is the cornerstone for enhancing the Association's existing training and certification programs with the primary focus on providing a more qualified work force for the tire, rubber and transportation industries. The fundamental principle underlying the Association is the desire to equip individuals with the skills needed to perform their tasks in a modern, competitive environment.
More information about the Dwight Peel Scholarships can be found on the ITRA´s Web site, www.itra.com, or by calling the ITRA at 800-426-8835 or 502-968-8900.