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Spotlight on Education: MTI Students Win 1st Place in Ford/AAA Auto Skills


BRADENTON – Two of Manatee Technical Institute's high school Automotive Technology students, Wade Ingram and Skyler Bellows, won first in the State of Florida in the Annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Challenge State Hands-On Competition, held April 19 in Sanford, FL.

The MTI students were one of 10 qualifying teams in Florida that had earned the right to compete for the state championship. With the victory, they will now move on to represent the Sunshine State in the 64th Annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Challenge this June.

At the Hands-On Competition, the MTI team raced against the clock to correctly diagnose and repair a deliberately “bugged” 2013 Ford Focus SE. A combination of the MTI students’ hands-on competition and online written exam scores qualified them as the state’s championship team. 

MTI says that it sees the competition as a way to help students start promising careers in the automotive repair industry, where there is a rising demand for well-trained technicians that can repair both computer and mechanical components in today’s vehicles. The competitions are organized with the support of AAA and Ford personnel and local automotive instructors.

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MTI Instructor Richard Falco (Left) with winning students, Wade Ingram (center) and Skyler Bellows.


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