Icahn Automotive chief executive officer Dan Ninivaggi believes in investing in “the future of our industry and the people that power it.”
His company had that in mind when it awarded the first scholarship in early February at its Race to 2026 launch event at NASCAR Technical Institute. Icahn recognized Jonathan Fanstill, a military veteran enrolled in Universal Technical Institute’s automotive technology program.
That support will continue. Icahn Automotive, which owns and operates auto repair and maintenance providers Pep Boys, AAMCO and Precision Tune Auto Care, will award scholarships for the 2019-2020 school year to qualified students studying for a career as a professional automotive technician.
For its first scholarship, the company recognized Fanstill — who is maintaining a 4.0 grade point average and plans to graduate in December — for his “passion for the future of the industry, his interest in learning as much as he can about evolving automotive technology and his commitment to caring for customers,” Icahn stated in a news release.
The scholarship program is part of Icahn Automotive’s Race to 2026 initiative to increase the number of trained auto technicians.
Icahn is doing that in part to help fill an industry-wide talent gap that the company says is projected to grow to 46,000 over the next seven years.
“Supporting students who have an interest in the skilled trades is essential to ensuring we have enough qualified professionals ready to service customer vehicles for decades to come,” Ninivaggi said in a news release.
Icahn will award 12 additional $2,500 scholarships to students enrolled full- or part-time in high school, college, or trade school and who are pursuing an automotive technician degree or certification. Applications will be accepted through April 30 and recipients will be announced in June.
Applicants are also required to submit written essays or videos describing “Why I want to be a top technician” and two letters of recommendation. The Icahn Automotive scholarship panel, which includes technicians and other employees, will review the application materials.