Local BOCES student is named finalist in national contest


NEW HARTFORD — Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Automotive Technology student Jacob Edwards was recently named a finalist for the 2022 FutureTechs Rock Awards in the Restoration category.

The FutureTechs Rock Awards, presented by TechForce Foundation, recognizes and honors the best students enrolled in transportation technician educational programs across the country. More than $17,000 in prizes are awarded to 10 student technicians who are full of passion and grit, exhibit true excellence in their education and training, and are driving the future of the industry.

Each finalist, selected by a panel of industry experts, receives prizes valued at more than $1,300 from TechForce partners, as well as training opportunities and Automotive Service Excellence study guides.

Finalist categories include automotive, aviation, collision, diesel off-road, diesel on-road, marine, motorcycle, motorsports, restoration, and welding.

As a finalist, Edwards was entered in a public vote for Grand Prize.

The category finalist who received the most votes will be announced on Tuesday as the 2022 Grand Prize Winner and receive more than $4,000 in scholarships and prizes. Voting closed on Friday.

Edwards lives and breathes restoration, attending the Automotive Technology program at the OHM BOCES and working at a local performance, fabrication and restoration shop after school and on weekends.

In his free time, Edwards also works on his own project car — a 1930 Ford Model A with a Chrysler Firepower engine, mounted on a 1958 Chevy Bel Air frame.

Edwards’ passion for restoration is shown in his commitment to his education, according to BOCES officials.

He has a perfect attendance record and maintains the highest grade of all students in his automotive program, the BOCES officials said.

Edwards also finds time to serve as a volunteer firefighter with his local fire department, help his classmates work through difficult coursework and assist with automotive projects outside of school.

“I became a technician because of my love for cars, specifically modern Chevrolets, classic muscle cars and hotrods,” said Edwards.

“Armed with knowledge from the internet, books, TV shows, my grandfather and the OHM BOCES Auto Tech program, I was hired at New Age Hotrods,” he said.

“After graduation, I plan to stay in the workforce, learning from people who have been in the industry for decades,” Edwards added. “This award would help me convince others to pursue a passion and continue a career in this field.”


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