The SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program aims to engage students in the automotive customization hobby and introduce them to a career path within the automotive aftermarket industry. This program uniquely connects high school automotive shop classes with specialty-equipment manufacturers' products to build one-of-a-kind customized vehicles.
Funded by SEMA, this program offers students a hands-on learning experience that compliments and enhances existing curriculum by learning new skills through working with aftermarket products. Students will take a real-world approach to their builds by developing a cohesive plan for the vehicle, creating and following a build schedule and working as a team to take a vehicle from stock to a fully customized vehicle.
With the guidance and instruction of their auto-shop instructors, students customize the vehicles using donated aftermarket products from sponsor companies. After the builds are completed, SEMA will sell the customized vehicles. All sales proceeds will be paid to SEMA for the benefit of the overall expansion of the program. Proceeds will be used to subsidize future vehicle acquisition, parts procurement and operating expenses for all participating schools. Pending approval from SEMA, participating schools will be invited back to participate the following year. It's SEMA's vision that the expansion of this program will reach thousands of high school automotive shop class students nationwide.
Aftermarket companies or individuals can support the SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program through parts donations, product demonstrations and mentor opportunities. Participating companies will have their product installed on the vehicle(s) as well as receive recognition through the build website and in SEMA build promotions. Partner with SEMA in the mission to engage students in the customization lifestyle and aftermarket career path.
The five fully-customized Jeep Wrangler TJ's built by high school students as part of the SEMA High School Vehicle Build Program were up for auction in an event called "SEMA Week of Customs". The auction event launched on Monday July 15, 2019 with one Jeep released for five consecutive days with a seven-day auction life. The final auction closed Friday, July 26, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. PDT.
The finished builds auctioned through program partner, Bring a Trailer, an online auction marketplace for buying and selling special vehicles resulted in a total of $127,000 to benefit high school auto shop programs. Bring a Trailer also generously donated their auction fee to the program bringing the grand total to $133,350! Proceeds from the auctions are being reinvested back into the SEMA program to fund another round of builds for the 5 participating schools and will go towards the expansion of the program to further its reach to 5 new schools for a total of 10 builds in the 2019-2020 school year.
"We at Bring a Trailer are very excited to partner again with SEMA to auction these special custom Jeeps," said Randy Nonnenberg, BaT Co-founder & CEO. "Young enthusiasts are key to the future of the automotive hobby and we applaud SEMA for furthering their investment in this program and these students. We are very happy to again be donating our entire 5% auction fees on these Jeeps to the same great cause."
This program partnered with C.D. Hylton High School, Comstock High School, R.L. Turner High School, Santa Fe ECO and Santa Ynez Valley Union High School to complete the semester-long build projects. Thirty-three automotive aftermarket companies sponsored these builds by contributing parts and when paired with the craftsmanship and vision of the students, these Jeeps are truly one of a kind.
The industry has really supported this project," said Zane Clark, SEMA Senior Director of Education. "Their generosity has elevated the build beyond our expectations and created a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience for the students."