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By Carissa Sitki
In an effort to boost the career tracks of students training for careers in the automotive aftermarket and other fields. Napa Auto Parts in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky are teaming up to give away five $1,000 scholarships for area vocational and technical (vo-tech) schools.
President of the McKay Auto Parts Group of NAPA stores, Earl Flack, who owns 23 stores, including the one in Jerseyville, shared the reasons behind his involvement in the scholarship program. “I’m a kid who needed scholarship programs, going to school in a family of six. My dad was a mechanic, so any help I could get, I was grateful,” he said. “And I sent three kids to College. One went to Eastern, one went to SIU, and one went to Illinois College.”
Flack said he believes in trade programs and knows the benefit scholarships can have for students pursuing vo-tech education because not all students have funding to pay their own way through school. “In our business, we need ladies and gentlemen who are willing to learn the parts business and make a career out of it,” he said. “I believe in these scholarships. I believe in training. And I believe in education.”
There are misconceptions that people cannot make good money in trade careers, according to Flack, who cited mechanics as one example of how much money can be made through a trade. “Automotive technicians can make $100,000 plus, per year, today,” he said.
Flack awards two Kaskaskia College students per year with $500 scholarships. He lets the instructors select which applicants they think should receive the funds and then presents those students with scholarships.
To apply, students may submit a two-page essay, or a two-minute video, explaining why they need the scholarship. It was decided that not every kid going to vo-tech schools may be comfortable writing an essay, so the video option was added.
Students can visit NAPAboost.com to learn more and to submit their entries. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 31 and scholarships will be awarded to the winners in November. The money can be put toward automotive, vocational, or any other education of the scholarship-recipient’s choosing.
About NAPA Auto Parts:
“NAPA-branded stores and AutoCare Centers continue to serve auto service professionals, do-it-yourselfers, and everyday drivers with quality parts and supplies to keep cars, trucks, and equipment performing safely and efficiently.
The NAPA distribution system has more than 500,000 part numbers which are distributed across 57 distribution centers, 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS stores, and more than 16,000 NAPA AutoCare- Collision- and Truck Service Centers throughout the United States.