The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) has announced the recipients of its inaugural Head of the Class Award, honouring five aftermarket companies that continually invest in employee education and training. The award is administered by the AAIA Education Committee on behalf of the association, and was created to highlight and recognize companies that continually invest in employee education and training and to promote the value and benefit that this investment provides to the employees and their companies, and also the entire aftermarket industry. The 2011 winners, designated by aftermarket category, are: –Manufacturer: Tenneco, Inc., Monroe, Mich. –Warehouse Distributor: KOI Auto Parts, Cincinnati, Ohio –Jobber: Olympus Imported Auto Parts, Alexandria, Va. –Manufacturers’ Representative: N.A. Williams Company, Atlanta, Ga. –Repair Shop: The Car Doctor, Oklahoma City, Okla. “Training and education is the key to any success, and as the automotive industry continues to evolve, new challenges and competitive threats are just around the corner,” said AAIA Education Committee chairman David Boyington, Mitchell 1. “Your Education Committee would like to recognize the commitment of a few select businesses to better equip their people with the tools to succeed. Please join me in congratulating the 2011 winners of the ‘Head of the Class’ award for their outstanding employee training programs and push for continued education.” Winners were selected based on the education and training practices of the company, including what prompted the company to invest in training, the types of training accomplished, the initial goals, their experiences, results of the training and any future plans. These inaugural winners were chosen because of their dedicated and continuing investment in enhancing the quality and level of learning and skill development in their companies. The recipients will be recognized at AAIA’s Town Hall breakfast at AAPEX, Wednesday, Nov. 2 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nev. They will also receive an award to display at their place of business and information on their winning programs will be posted on the AAIA website at www.aftermarket.org. More information about these companies and their education initiatives will be featured in upcoming issues of Aftermarket Insider. The AAIA Education Committee invites companies to submit their company education and training stories for the 2012 Head of the Class Awards. More information on how to apply will be available in spring 2012.