Pep Boys Auto Service & Tires announced the opening of its application submission process for the 2022-2023 Find Your Drive Scholarship Program. The program will award two $10,000 and six $5,000 scholarships to assist automotive technicians of tomorrow with educational expenses for the upcoming school year. Funding for the scholarships is granted by Pep Boys, which provides after-market service at 1,000 company-owned locations in 35 states and Puerto Rico. Applications are being accepted now through Friday, May 27. Applications can be entered here.
“We’re proud that for the fourth consecutive year, Pep Boys will be able to help promising automotive education students jumpstart their education and careers,” said CEO Brian Kaner. “This year’s Find Your Drive Scholarship Program will mark more than $200,000 distributed to 50 students over its history. While there’s still more work to be done, the industry has made measurable progress in filling its skills gap. Pep Boys is delivering on commitments we made during our ‘Race to 2026’ program announcement three years ago, helping to bring talented technicians with bright futures into the field.”
All scholarship recipients will be eligible for preferred placement in the Pep Boys apprenticeship program and/or a full-time automotive tech position upon graduation. Scholarship applicants must submit an application, academic records, a letter of recommendation, and a video and or written essay expressing "Why I want to be a top technician." All applications will be reviewed by a Pep Boys Scholarship committee and are being accepted now through May 27.
According to the Auto Care Association’s (ACA) State of Auto Care 2022 Factbook released earlier this year, automotive technician employment in 2020 totaled approximately 860,000 individuals. While this is down 5.8% from more than 913,000 in 2019, the same forces driving the rebound in automotive service are driving the need for trusted, knowledgeable technicians to perform the work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be nearly 69,000 job openings for automotive service technicians and mechanics each year, on average, over the decade.
This is the fourth consecutive year of the Find Your Drive Scholarship Program, with $167,500 distributed to date, and 42 students supported. This year will increase the total distribution to $217,500, bringing the total number of students supported to 50. The annual scholarship program is part of Pep Boys’ “Race to 2026” initiative which aims to increase the number of trained technicians and help fill an industry-wide talent gap over the next four years. Pep Boys offers a broad range of industry-leading opportunities and career paths designed to encourage talented future technicians to follow their passion for automotive. In addition to scholarships, the company partners with leading technical schools, internships, and work opportunities during a student’s education. After graduation, technicians can launch their careers with the company performing basic maintenance and take advantage of benefits such as tuition assistance, apprenticeships, company-sponsored certifications, and continuing education to move on to more complex repairs, or progress to a leadership role.