SEMA is seeking new high school auto shops to join in the third round of its custom vehicle build program. The association would like to add five new schools to the five that participated last year.
“SEMA is really making an investment in our future,” Zane Clark, SEMA’s senior director of education, said. “Our mission as an association is to help our member companies succeed and prosper, and one way is to get young people excited about our industry.”
The program started with the 2016-’17 term with one school and one vehicle.
Last school year, SEMA partnered with five high school auto-shop classes across the country to accessorize five Jeep Wrangler TJs. Using aftermarket products donated by 33 sponsoring companies, students customized the Jeeps concentrating on wheels and tires, suspension, and interior and exterior accessories.
In doing so, about 200 students were introduced to automotive customization as a hobby, learned new skills and concepts, and gained insight for a career path in the aftermarket.
Auction proceeds are invested back into the program, allowing it to grow, Clark said. “We want to plant seeds in these schools where they continue working with the automotive aftermarket,” he said.