Technicians of Tomorrow competition showcases high schoolers' skills for in-demand jobs in auto industry

NOW: Technicians of Tomorrow competition showcases high schoolers’ skills for in-demand jobs in auto industry

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- High school students showcased their automotive skills Friday, March 3 during the Technicians of Tomorrow competition at the Milwaukee Auto Show.

Eight teams from across southeastern Wisconsin participated in the competition.

The competitors had to diagnose, troubleshoot and repair cars and other auto technology to win scholarships and other prizes like tools.

Instructors, mentors and volunteers from dealerships all collaborated to support the students.

"The automotive instructors that are here almost in all cases have given up a lot of their time to be able to mentor these students, but also the dealers have given up a lot of their technicians' time in training them to be able to prepare for this," Hartford Union High School automotive instructor Matt Kerhin told CBS 58.

But the competition is about more than just one day. It's about a lifelong opportunity for jobs that are heavily in-demand as technicians are in short supply across the industry.

"That's what this competition is about, to say, 'hey this is a career,'" education director Deb Kruse said. "This is a great career, actually, you make really good money and a lot of these students love working with their hands."

The Milwaukee Auto Show also hosted a career fair. Combining both events builds optimism for veterans of the industry that its future is in good hands.

"The technicians of tomorrow is so exciting because we need those technicians in our dealerships," Susan Hiller, the dealer principal at Hiller Ford said in an interview. "So, it's a great way to get them here and get them into the dealerships eventually."

The Milwaukee Auto Show runs through Sunday, March 5.

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