The Northampton Community College (NCC) Automotive Department hosted the 2023 Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers Association (GLVADA) auto competition and the Auto Skills competition on Bethlehem campus, both for high school technical students in the region.
“Community is in our name, and it’s what we do at NCC,” said Joseph S Spadafora Jr., automotive program manager NCC, when asked about the college’s participation in events like this.
“The demand for skilled auto technicians in our area continues to grow, and giving students the opportunity to test their knowledge in a real-life, practical setting, provides experience they can take with them as they continue working towards their goals. These competitions highlight skills and foster success for future technicians to keep our industry and county moving.”
At the GLVADA event on February 11, held in the auto lab in Commonwealth Hall on Bethlehem campus, eight area schools were asked to send their top technical students to compete in this event. Four teams of students answered the challenge and were present to compete and show off their skills. Each team consisted of two students who completed two rounds of events with a 1.5 hour time limit for each round.
The live vehicle stations consisted of two Subaru vehicles bugged with different faults, missing or broken components, and were in a no-start condition. At the hands-on workstations, the teams had to analyze scan tool data, explain the characteristics of a lab scope wave form, work with an electrical workstation, take brakes component ID and measurements, and solder and repair wiring again.
Each student left with prizes, shirts from the auto dealers, and the top two students will have their photos on electronic billboards along Route 22 for one month. The winning team participants from Carbon Career and Technical Institute were Jacob Allen Shellhammer and Victor Andres Marrero Figueroa.
On March 8, also held in NCC’s auto lab on Bethlehem campus, a similar hands-on competition known as the Auto Skills Competition for area technical students took place. Students had 20 minutes to complete each of six stations. They worked on brake testing, electrical training, engine misfire correction, car start issues, PA state inspection, and mechanically timing working parts in a four-cylinder DOHC engine.
All teams received NCC automotive technology swag and gifts provided by Dorman Automotive Products, Advance Auto Parts, Matco Tools, and Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Education Foundation. The first-place students, Austin Belisairo and Conor McGlinchey of Middle Bucks Institute of Technology, were awarded $2,000 NCC scholarships. Additionally, Middle Bucks will get a vehicle donation.
“I value our partnership with GLVADA, the dealers, auto clubs and CTE (Career & Technical Education) schools,” commented Spadafora, who looks forward to hosting more events like this in the future.
Watch this video from WFMZ for additional coverage of the Auto Skills event. To learn more about the automotive program at NCC, visit www.northampton.edu/automotive-technology.