The Hagerty Education Program (HEP) at America’s Car Museum is co-hosting an Arizona Regional Summit Meeting on Wednesday, May 4 at the East Valley Institute of Technology’s (EVIT) Mesa, Arizona, campus.
Legendary racecar driver Lyn St. James will serve as the guest of honor during the summit. To RSVP and register for the event – which includes the meeting/program/facility tour ($30 per person) – please click here.
The summit will explore how EVIT—an award-winning vocational high school—can support the booming Arizona car restoration industry and help fill the need for young talent at local shops. According to SEMA, in 2015, the automotive restoration industry reached $1.44 billion in product sales alone—an increase of 6% from 2014. HEP’s Arizona Regional Summit Meeting will bring together industry luminaries, including legendary race-car driver and HEP ambassador Lyn St. James, along with experts, SEMA members, local shop owners, instructors, administrators and students to discuss the expansion of EVIT’s curriculum to include restoration programs, which will lead to filling more jobs in the industry. The summit will explore how trade schools and education programs can ensure growth for the collector-car industry by working together to train skilled craftsmen.
Ryan Levesque, 26, who recently completed a HEP apprenticeship at Precision Motor Cars in Allentown, Pennsylvania, will speak about the impact the program has made in his life. Upon completion of the program, Levesque received help from HEP to secure a job at Kip Motor Company in Dallas, where he works with restoration manager Randy Bush to further develop his skills.
“As collector cars grow in rarity, automotive auction houses including Barrett-Jackson, Mecum and Sotheby’s are selling vehicles well in excess of one million dollars. One-of-a-kind and completely restored classics are at the top of the trading block and their prospective buyers’ lists,” said HEP National Director Diane Fitzgerald. “Last year, the automotive auction industry surpassed $1.8 billion in collector cars sales nationwide. There are 12 million cars predating 1981 and we believe this represents a good opportunity for industry growth and job creation.”
Since 2005, HEP has awarded nearly $3 million in program/project grants, scholarships and apprenticeships.