KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The North Kansas City Schools Automotive Technology program was recently named the best in the Midwest.
The program that prepares students for a career in the automotive industry was named a Top 4 finalist in Tomorrow's Tech 2018 School of the Year competition. As a regional winner, the school will receive a professional automotive tool set and a $250 gift card from O'Reilly Auto Parts.
"I just, I don't think it's really sunk in. It's a very prestigious thing," said program instructor Jack Stow.
At the end of October, several students and Stow will travel to Las Vegas for the Automotive Aftermarket Expo, or AAPEX, and the Specialty Equipment Market Association show, where the winner will be announced.
"It's actually my first time ever being out of state, so I'm actually really excited and I'm really excited to meet all of these new people," said Ashley Erskin, a senior in the program.
The event features more than 2,500 exhibiting companies displaying the latest products, services and technologies. More than 47,000 buyers are expected to attend, and approximately 162,000 automotive aftermarket professionals from 135 countries will be featured.
The Automotive Technology school was selected from 221 nominations across 91 schools in the country. The winner will be announced on Oct. 29.
"I want them to have an experience that they can focus on and say, 'that's what I would like to do with my career,'" Stow said.
The NKC Schools Automotive Technology program began in 1981. Stow, a graduate of the program, became the instructor in 2001. The program offers entry-level training to students in all facets of the auto industry. It offers students hands-on learning experience in all types of auto repairs as well as business aspects of the trade.