SEMA Scholarship Committee

Kim PendergastIn 1984, SEMA and a group of industry leaders teamed to establish the nonprofit SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, whose purpose was to nurture industry leadership by supporting the educational pursuits of future automotive professionals attending an accredited college. The fund initially struggled to gain momentum, but thanks to its first major donation of $10,000, contributed by industry pioneer and SEMA Hall of Fame inductee Joan Weiand of Weiand Automotive, the fund quickly picked up steam.

Kids, Cars and STEM Careers

EducationAmong SEMA’s chief goals as a trade association is working to ensure the industry’s future, in part by expanding youth engagement programs. The goal is to interest young talent in car culture, and ultimately to fill a variety of emerging technological, skilled, creative and administrative positions. A number of those efforts also involve collaborating on initiatives conceived and operated by outside organizations, with SEMA serving as a catalyst.

Connecting Higher Education to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry

Higher EducationSEMA’s education team has a new initiative to connect automotive aftermarket companies with higher-education institutions. Through this grassroots approach to reaching students who are beginning to look for careers, SEMA aims to introduce the vast number of job functions available in the automotive aftermarket industry. There are a number of opportunities for companies to have a presence in their local schools and communities through SEMA by participating in career fairs, holding student interview days on campus, hosting students for a facility tour or giving a presentation in a classroom setting.

MUST-SEE Seminar: Television Marketing

Every automotive specialty equipment company should also take the time to understand how television can efficiently and effectively deliver marketing messages.Experts Counsel Industry on the Hurdles and Benefits 

Any media outlet—print, the Internet, radio, billboards and more—can be used to market the businesses of automotive aftermarket companies. But there may be none that offers the reach and cost-per-thousand (CPM) advantages of television. To help manufacturers, retailers, installers and even warehouse distributors learn about the benefits, perceived hurdles and costs of TV marketing, the SEMA Show will present a super-session seminar entitled “Understand and Maximize Investments in Automotive TV Programming.” The event will be presented Monday, November 3, (the day before the official opening of the SEMA Show) from 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. in room N258 adjacent to the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

SEMA Vehicle Technology Briefing Sessions

Throughout the SEMA Show, leading advanced vehicle technology experts will discuss SEMA’s vehicle technology programs, partners, solutions and benefits. Learn what participating members are doing to gain competitive advantages, reduce product development costs, leverage new technologies for growth and ensure compliance of aftermarket-modified vehicles for vehicle emissions and dynamics. For more information, visit SEMA Vehicle Technology Briefing Seminar program is designed to connect SEMA members to the benefits of vehicle technology and performance product-development solutions, resources and partnerships. From racing and performance design to branding and driving green, connected, safe and cool, cutting-edge technologies will be the focus of discussions at this year’s SEMA Show by industry leaders and innovators who will explain current and future systems and technology applications.

Recognizing and Supporting the Future of the Industry

The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund has awarded $152,000 to 61 individuals. The awards include 44 SEMA Scholarships, which are presented to current students, and 17 loan-forgiveness awards presented to employees of SEMA-member companies. In addition, one student was awarded a full-tuition scholarship for the 2014–2015 academic year to Ohio Technical College.

On behalf of the industry, we offer congratulations and continued success!

Advancing Automotive Education

The 2013–2014 SEMA engine project was based on a Dart LS Next cast-iron block—a 434ci engine combination that is dyno-proven to generate in excess of 700 hp utilizing a single four-barrel carburetor on pump gasoline.SEMA-Member Companies Donate Parts for Scholarship Engine—a 700-plus-hp Dart LS Next Package

Launched two years ago, the SEMA Scholarship Engine Project has enjoyed support from nearly two dozen manufacturers and the talents of noted engine builder Ed Pink. The first year saw a 347ci small-block Ford engine go on the auction block, while a 405ci small-block Chevy was built last year. Both engines featured Dart SHP iron blocks and SHP aluminum cylinder heads.


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