Montgomery Students Auto Trades Career Day

The fruits of the Montgomery Students Automotive Trades’ Foundation were on display recently as the aspiring auto technicians who engaged in the “Minidealership” curriculum at four Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) celebrated their achievements at the annual ATF Career and Awards Day. This unique technician training and education comes from ATF’s partnership with MCPS and WANADA that has been years in the making.


ATF’s Career and Awards Day took place at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, MD, recognizing students from Damascus, Thomas Edison, Gaithersburg and Seneca Valley high schools. More than 300 auto tech students attended the event, along with representatives from 13 sponsoring dealerships, a number of whom are represented on the ATF board of directors. Harold Redden of Fitzgerald Auto Malls is chairman of ATF’s board. A variety of auto industry supporters also attended the ATF Career Day, including a number of WANADA Kindred line companies.


WANADA has worked with the ATF nonprofit foundation since 1978, when dealers and MCPS career education professionals founded it.

Throughout the year, ATF students staff the Minidealerships, which are licensed used-car operations that retail donated used vehicles that students have reconditioned for sale. Many of the students graduate to the WANADA-sponsored program at Montgomery College, where they not only are trained as auto technicians, but are employed in dealerships. Several exceptional students from the ATF program this year won scholarships to the Montgomery College Technician Training Program.


A curriculum similar to the Montgomery County ATF operates through Fairfax County Public Schools and Fairfax Applied Technology Education Foundation (FATE). At the post-secondary level in Fairfax, students from FATE are trained at Marshall Academy in Falls Church and Hayfield Academy in Hayfield.

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