Christina Bailey, Anthony’s Subaru general manager; Patrick Brewster, OC student; Jamie Kaban, Kelowna Toyota; Jagdeep Sumal, OC student; Tony Lunelli, Anthony’s Subaru; Paul Whitlock, OC student; and Adam Rich, Sentes Automotive Group general manager. Photo: Contributed

Car dealers rev up support for OC students

BC New Car Dealers Foundation funds new student awards

The New Car Dealers Foundation of British Columbia is helping power success with $10,000 annually in new awards for Trades and Business students at Okanagan College.

The annual awards ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 each will support students in the Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship and foundation programs, plus the Business Administration program.

“The demand for skilled automotive service technicians and business professionals is increasing throughout the automotive sector,” said Blair Qualey, president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of B.C.

Related: Car dealers support trades training complex fundraising campaign

“We see partnerships with training institutions like Okanagan College as integral to service delivery and the prosperity of our member dealerships.”

There are 29 new car dealer members in the Okanagan including six dealerships operated by Sentes Automotive.

Adam Rich, Sentes Automotive Group General Manager, says he hopes the awards will encourage more young people to enter the automotive industry and stay local after graduation.

“We’re always looking for more technicians. We know the value of the Okanagan College program, we’ve hired grads in the past, and we’re thrilled to support it,” said Rich.

“We are very grateful to the New Car Dealers Foundation for this investment in our students’ futures,” said Kathy Butler, executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation.

“The creation of these new awards will both help attract and retain students, ultimately connecting them to a vibrant and expanding industry, especially in the Okanagan.”

“These awards are unique in that they will open doors for trades students while also supporting the next generation of business professionals pursuing careers in the automotive sector.”

The New Car Dealers Foundation presented its first set of awards in Kelowna in April.

Among the recipients was Paul Whitlock, a student in the Automotive Service Technician program. Whitlock plans to complete his Red Seal Endorsement and then go on to business school.

“This award will make it easier for me to progress through my apprenticeship with less stress about being able to afford it all,” said Whitlock. “I can’t thank the donors enough for this very generous gift. It will help me achieve my dream.”

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


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