CNCDA Announces 2021 Scholarship Awards

The California New Car Dealers Association Scholarship Foundation (CNCDA Foundation) has for twenty-six years offered an annual “CAR CAREERS” grant program aimed at nurturing college student interest in the automotive industry and helping grow the future workforce. 2021 marked the first year that the CNCDA Foundation provided its scholarships under a new grant structure, which offered significantly larger award amounts to student recipients and was designed to ensure geographic diversity of the awards across the state.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 46,000 automotive service technicians and mechanics will be needed to fill roles through 2026. Against this backdrop, the CNCDA Foundation is helping increase awareness about the value of a career in the automotive trades, and helping educate students, families, teachers and businesses about the dynamic technology and mechanical skills needed to repair today's complex vehicles.

“California is leading the way with innovation in the auto industry and with adoption of electric and autonomous vehicles, which means that we also have to lead the way in training our future auto technician workforce,” said Brian Maas, CNCDA President and CNCDA Scholarship Foundation Vice President. “We are excited to have this scholarship program which is directly aimed at attracting people to the industry and helping them get excited about the many valuable career opportunities available in the auto tech field.”

In September, the CNCDA Foundation announced four winners in each of the five regions across the state, who were awarded $5,000 each to cover education and training expenses. Additionally, one student, Vincent Lagasca, was selected as the overall statewide winner, receiving an additional $5,000 for the Peter K. Welch Honorary Scholarship. The full list of 2021 grant recipients can be found on the CNCD website.

“We were very impressed with the students who applied for this scholarship program and are proud to be able to support them as they pursue promising careers in the auto tech industry,” said Maas. “The auto technology ahead of us is more challenging and interesting than ever before, so we need many more motivated students like our winners who are eager to jump in and fill the thousands of good-paying auto tech jobs in California.”

Nikolai Hansen, a grant recipient from Solano Community College stated, “What interests me most about the automotive industry is how important cars are to our culture in America and how much people depend on the industry to produce, maintain, and repair automotive vehicles. From getting to work each day or driving across the country to visit family, we all depend on our vehicles to get us where we need to go.”

Since it was founded in 1993, the CNCDA Foundation has awarded scholarships to 1,346 students. This represents a total impact of more than $1 million in support for California’s future auto workforce. The CAR CAREERS grant program will be offered again in 2022 – information on program specifics and the application process can be found on the CNCDA website.

To learn more or subscribe to the CNCDA Scholarship Foundation newsletter, visit or contact Danielle Whitmore at For information on additional scholarship opportunities, visit BAR’s Scholarship page at

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