Two Chautauqua County students from the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES LoGuidice Educational Center in Fredonia placed 12th in the nation at the National Automotive Technology Competition, which took place at the New York International Auto Show in New York City.
Seniors Steven Reed and James Winhaber from Cassadaga Valley High School, both of whom recently completed the two-year Automotive Technology Program at the LoGuidice Center, earned a place at the national championships after competing against teams from across the region and placing second at the 2012 Ronald Smith Memorial Automotive Technology Competition on Jan. 14 in Orchard Park.
Steven and James prepared for the competition with the help of their instructor, Michael LoManto, and Chuck Shevlin, a former student teacher at the LoGuidice Center Automotive Technology Program who occasionally volunteers his time to help prepare the students for automotive technology competitions. LoManto expressed his gratitude toward Robert Basil Chevrolet of Fredonia for providing Reed and Winhaber with a vehicle to practice on; the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association and the New York State Automobile Dealers Association for sponsoring the team's trip to nationals; Chuck Facklam, E2CCB automotive technology instructor at the Ormsby Center in East Aurora, who also helped the team prepare for the competition; and E2CCB English Liaison Lea Ann Talbot and Science Liaison David Odrobina for helping the students prepare for some of the work stations at the competitions.
Top row, from left, Jose Pagan, principal of the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES LoGuidice Educational Center; Automotive Technology Instructor Michael Lomanto; Chuck Shevlin; and Doug Lynden and Jose Ferrer from Robert Basil Chevrolet in Fredonia. Bottom row, students Stephen Reed, left, and James Winhaber from Cassadaga Valley High School and the Automotive Technology Program at the LoGuidice Center.
During the competition, the students had to diagnose and repair a vehicle and complete several work stations that assessed their abilities in areas such as wheel alignment, wiring repair, engine mechanical performance diagnosis, emissions testing, electrical problem diagnosis, environmental safety, and job interviews.
Automotive Technology is one of 10 two-year Career and Technical Education programs offered at the LoGuidice Center that allow high school juniors and seniors to study a specialized field of their choosing while earning their Regents Diploma. Students who have successfully completed the requirements of their programs will receive a Technical Endorsement on their diplomas, and they will be prepared to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation or pursue more advanced levels of study at post-secondary educational institutions.
While areas such as music and athletics can enable students to earn college scholarships, students enrolled in CTE programs can also earn scholarships through career skills competitions such as the National Automotive Technology Competition. All students enrolled in E2CCB programs are given the opportunity to put their skills and knowledge to the test at the regional, state and national level to make a name for themselves and earn scholarship money.