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Auto Tech Competition offers North Texas high school seniors scholarships & prizes

CBS Dallas 12/3/2022 Nick Starling

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — Texas' unemployment rate sits around 4%. While that's typically a good indicator for the economy, employers with job openings might have trouble finding qualified workers as businesses struggle to fill open jobs. 

On Friday and continuing into Saturday, the Texas Motor Speedway transformed into a major career fair where hundreds of North Texas high school students hope to snag a job in the automobile industry.

The Auto Tech Competition is also underway. Put on by the North Texas Automobile Dealers Association, it's where high school seniors test their skills and can win scholarships and prizes.

"What we're trying to do here is provide a glimpse of what the career of today's auto tech is in North Texas," said Brent Franks, President of the North Texas Automobile Dealers Association. 

For these future workers, there's plenty of jobs ready to be filled. 

"We have a shortage of auto techs in North Texas and all over the country. We could hire 80,000 people easily today," added Franks. 

It's also a lucrative industry. 

"Most auto techs make more money than doctors or lawyers after they become master certified techs. There's a career path going to six-figures after they have been working in the industry," said Franks. 

"These are good-paying jobs. They don't require a college degree necessarily; you can get almost everything you need at a community college," said Bryan Daniel, Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission. 

It's alluring for students who have a passion for this industry, like Red Oak High School senior Nate Hilton. "I've always been around automotive stuff my whole life… maybe open up a shop or something like that."

Hilton participated in the Auto Tech Competition on Friday and said hopes this will not only help him get a job, but help him avoid racking up college debt too.

"It saves a lot of money in the long run because not only are you spending less to make that money, but you're also making a lot more money to just pay it back in a way shorter amount of time," added Hilton. 

To learn more about this event and more about this industry, click here.

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