Scot Manna, owner of MB Automotive, Inc. in Des Plaines, Ill., won the ACDelco Technician of the Millennium IV competition at the ACDelco National Convention held recently in Las Vegas, while a number of Canadian technicians fared well.
Manna, the U.S. North Central Region champion, prevailed over seven other U.S. and Canadian automotive technicians who qualified for the finals by winning their regional competitions.
There were three Canadians among the eight finalists whose Independent Service Centers (ISCs) participate in ACDelco’s Total Service Support (TSS) program. They competed in a timed, hands-on skills contest and were judged on their professionalism, speed and accuracy in the diagnosis and repair of a “bugged” 2007 Chevy Impala.
“As vehicles’ complexity and sophistication increases, so does the need for qualified technicians who possess the required skills to diagnose and repair them,” said Todd Dawn, ACDelco aftermarket training manager. “The Technician of the Millennium IV competition showcased these technicians’ skills and gave them an opportunity to leverage everything they know, including what they’ve learned through ACDelco’s extensive training offerings.”
In addition to earning the title of Technician of the Millennium IV, Manna won the Grand Prize worth more than $41,000 U.S. The prize package includes a 2007 GM vehicle of his choice, an interior/exterior image enhancement for his shop, two trips for two to the Bahamas and a commemorative trophy.
Eric Armstrong, a technician at Motoring Services in Kennewick, Wash., and the U.S. Western Region winner, was runner up in the Technician of the Millennium IV finals.
Armstrong’s second-place prize package includes a trip for two to the Bahamas for both himself and his shop owner, $1000 gift certificates from Vetronix for both himself and his shop owner and a commemorative trophy.
U.S. South Central Region champion Bill James, owner of Bill’s Quality Automotive in Tulsa, Okla., finished third in the competition. His prize winnings include a $1000 American Express Choice Card, a $1000 gift certificate from Vetronix, a Fluke 87 digital multimeter with accessories and a commemorative trophy.
Canadians competing for the big prize were Tom Bischoff, Williams Automotive Service, Kelowna, British Columbia; David Jaggard, Eccles Auto Service Inc., Dundas, Ontario; and Phil Taekema, Woodriver Valley Automotive Service, Moncton, New Brunswick. The other finalists were Louis Codianna, United Auto Sales and Service, Waterbury, Conn. and Craig Newsome, Auto Tech, Section, Ala.. They all received $1000 American Express Choice Cards, a Yellow Pages ad for their respective TSS facilities and a Service Information DVD.
“All participants should be very proud of their accomplishments,” Dawn said. “ACDelco’s Technician of the Millennium IV competition is a great way for them to demonstrate their skills, knowledge, and technical capabilities. And, it shows that being an automotive technician isn’t just about wrenching on vehicles; it’s a high-tech career that requires electronics and computer diagnostics experience and training as well.”
The Technician of the Millennium IV competition began in late 2005 with registration and ASE-certification verification. ACDelco then administered a 100-question, Internet-based test in February 2006 covering nearly all aspects of vehicle repair. The top five scorers in each of ACDelco’s five U.S. and three Canadian regions advanced to the Regional Semi-Finals in May. The eight regional champions advanced to the finals in Las Vegas.
This marked ACDelco’s fourth such contest. The inaugural ACDelco Technician of the Millennium competition took place in 1999. Subsequent contests were held in 2001 and 2003.
“ACDelco’s Technician of the Millennium competitions help raise awareness of this important career,” Dawn said. “There are predictions for an industry shortage of trained technicians in the near future; these competitions help get young men and women excited about job opportunities in this field.”
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