WALLENPAUPACK - Wallenpaupack Area High School students Andrew Avissato and Fred Petsche competed in the National Automotive Technology Competition April 21 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. The students put their knowledge of the automotive industry up against the best in the nation and Canada, and came home with a 5th place finish. The students put in countless hours practicing to prepare for the 10 work stations they had to complete and working on a 2014 Chevy Cruze, which was furnished by Hesser Chevrolet.
    Dr. Mark Watson, the team's automotive teacher, said the competition was great because it provided the students with a chance to test their skills on newer technology. This is important, he said because every year attracting people into the automotive trade is becoming more difficult and the contest is a way to attract younger talent. The manufacturers, he said, realize the demand for good young talent and so they invest a large amount of money into making the contest very challenging and rewarding for the students.
    Watson thanks Hesser Chevrolet, who is owned by Dean Hesser a graduate of Wallenpaupack Area High School for providing the students with a Chevy Cruze. Also, Schwarz's Buick GMC, for providing speciality tools to help the team prepare for the on-car part of the contest. He added that because of the cooperation of the local businesses, the Wallenpaupack school board, administration and faculty, the students are able to be successful. Plus, the students would not be who they are without the support of their parents Fred and Hayley Petsche and William and Kristie Schaeffe.
    The hands on portion of the contest required the students to interpret a repair order on a 2014 Chevy Cruze and perform the three C's, which is to verify the concern, find the cause and correct the problem. The students were given three hours to return their vehicle to perfect condition.
The work stations consisted of:
An electrical station which required the students to use electrical test equipment to diagnose failed circuits.
A wheel alignment station that required the students to use their knowledge of alignment angles and vehicle geometry from Hunter Engineering.
A brake station requiring the students to use tools and equipment to diagnose and suggest repair on a braking system.
CAN BUS Workstation that required the students to understand terminology and diagnostic checks associated with servicing vehicles.
A waveform station that required the team to understand waveform voltage and frequency interpretation.
A wire harness repair station, that required the students to solder wires and remove and replace wires from computerized components using the correct procedures
An engine mechanical performance diagnosis workstation.
Information retrieval workstation.
Shop and environmental safety workstation
BMW – Job interview workstation
For their fifth place finish the students were awarded:
      All competitors were given merchandise from vehicle manufacturers and participating schools including: jackets, shirts, hats, and tools.
    For their fifth place finish the students received:
All expenses paid trip to New York City and entrance into the International Car show.
$20,000 Automotive Training Center scholarship
$10,000 Ohio Technical College scholarship
$8,5000 University of Northeastern Ohio scholarship
$5,000 Universal Technical Institute scholarship
$1,500 Lincoln Technical Institute Scholarship
Snap-on Screwdriver set and a tool carrying case.