About AYES

AYES Partnership

The VADA AYES Program is a partnership between the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, the Virginia Department of Education, and Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) for the advancement of automotive technology education in Virginia secondary schools.  The VADA Partnership has two purposes: to improve the quality of automotive technology programs in all Virginia secondary schools, and to encourage young people to consider and pursue careers in this exciting and growing field.

Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) is a partnership between participating automotive manufacturers, the National Automobile Dealers Association, participating state automobile dealer associations, participating dealers, and selected high schools/tech prep schools.  It’s designed to encourage young people to consider satisfying careers in retail automotive service, and prepare them for entry-level career positions or advanced studies in automotive technology.

Standards and Responsibilities

The high schools and vocational-technical schools selected for AYES have ASE-certified automotive programs and have active chapters of SkillsUSA.  Some also have certified collision/refinish programs.  In addition to promoting automotive careers at the local level, participating dealerships are asked to get involved with their school’s Business & Education Council, sponsor one or more students for paid internships, and underwrite the cost of AYES Tool Scholarships for their interns, thereby reducing the financial burden of assembling good quality starter tool sets, which can be a significant hurdle for prospective young technicians.

How Students Grow into Professionals

Qualified high school juniors are invited to take part in AYES. In addition to taking the required academic courses toward their high school degrees, they’ll take challenging classroom/laboratory courses in basic automotive technology or collision repair & refinish. Through their participation in SkillsUSA, they’ll strengthen their “employability” skills (e.g., dependability, positive attitude, spirit of teamwork).

Typically, eligible students will begin their internships at a dealership on a full-time basis during the summer between their junior and senior years. Under the guidance of a “mentor” (an experienced technician), they’ll develop both their technical skills and their skills as valuable employees. Upon high school graduation and AYES certification, participating students are prepared to begin full-time entry-level employment, or to advance their technical education.

AYES is designed with continuing professional development in mind.

Many participating dealerships anticipate sponsoring their students in manufacturer-supported college-level programs, such as the Chrysler CAP, GM ASEP, Honda PACT, Toyota T-TEN, or certificate programs offered by Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Through their AYES experiences, most students come to realize the importance of continuing their professional development, either through a college degree program or through manufacturer-provided training.  AYES currently has an initiative in 45 states.

Join Us Today!

Contact Bob Owen at 804.283.0176 or bowen@vada.com to find out how you can start a great career in automotive technology or how you can make a real difference in a young person’s life by being a Mentor!