Industry Rallies Around Installer Program

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A nationwide contest for young 12 volt installers that we reported on earlier this month has raised well over $20,000, allowing it to expand to more states.

The funds will enable a competition for high school kids and adults interested in 12 volt installation to expand from 14 states to 19 this year. Technical Chairperson for Mobile Electronics Installation for SkillsUSA, Chris Jack, hopes to reach 25 states in the near future.

Thirteen suppliers and distributors have stepped up to allow the mobile electronics contests to continue after the program lost funding this year.  Donors include Kicker, Certified Sounds, Hawaii, Sony Electronics, Davis Distribution Systems, Dow Technologies, Murfco, Inc, Mid-State Distributing Company, AM Merchandising, GoFast Solutions. DAS Companies Inc., Automotive Distributors of Alaska, Cerwin Vega/Diamond Audio and JBL/Infinity.

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SkillsUSA Mobile Electronics training

Sony alone is donating $10,000 and its distributors are contributing another combined $10,000. Other suppliers did not disclose the amount of their donations.

“This will allow us to continue to run this contest for the next few years. With your ongoing support we are also upgrading to new test equipment and supplies for the first time in over 10 years,” said Jack. He added, “I would like to thank all [the donors] for their generous donations of cash and equipment.”

Sony’s Anthony Tozzi said, “It’s important for the future of our business to build a bench of future installers.”

The program is part of the larger SkillsUSA educational program where mainly high schoolers train in various professions from  Information Technology to Mobile Electronics installation. Then they enter competitions within their field at local, and state competitions, finally reaching the nationals, scheduled this year in June in Atlanta.

To bring the program to your state, approach the local high school and offer to help teach a course in mobile electronics.  (The syllabus and course structure is available from Jack).  If any students are interested, then they can sign up for the SkillsUSA program and compete.

In the Los Angeles area, where Jack teaches, about 25 to 30 kids enroll in the program each year.

Jack is happy to forward information on the local contests to vendors, who can alert the local rep, who can then funnel the contestants’ contact information to local dealers.

Apart from helping to teach courses and donating products and cash,  suppliers and industry members are also encouraged to volunteer to judge contests.

Even donations of T-shirts and swag is helpful, Jack said.

To donate, including product donations, contact Chris Jack at 310 866 2454 or cnjacklausd@aol.com