Organizers of this year’s Langley Good Times Cruise-In are looking to the future, with a real keen focus on youth.
Some car shows are just starting to incorporate youth components into their events, to ensure the car shows and the culture can continue. But Cruise-In has always strove to be multi-generational, said president Riccardo Sestito.
But while Cruise-In has always encouraged young people to engage in the car culture and share in the love of collecting and working on automobiles, the team behind Langley’s huge charity car show is upping the anti.
They have announced plans to start a Cruise-In scholarship they hope will encourage more people to consider careers in the automotive industry and other trades.
The Cruise-In board is working with the Langley School District Foundation to form an ongoing scholarship, said Sestito. While details are still being worked out, he envisions it will be an annual scholarship awarded to a student in Langley keen on pursuing a career in some aspect of the trades.
Most scholarships, Sestito said, are focused on academics, where he and a few others on the board want to help those who are not necessarily going to pursue college or university. Instead, he wants to offer something to help those interested in a lifetime career in the trades.
“We want to create a legacy here. We have to build something that will keep giving in the years to come,” said Sestito, who has also brought the United Association Local 170 Plumbers & Pipefitters Union on board in the push to engage more youth.
UA170 will likely be contributing in some way to the Cruise-In scholarship initiative, said business development representative Ryan King, a steam fitter by trade.
In the meantime, they too will be part of this year’s Cruise-In on Saturday, Sept. 10 in Aldergrove.
They’re bringing their recently retrofitted 1984 vintage Wage_Wagon van, complete with an office in the back, as well as a truck and trailer unit that serves as a mobile classroom for the United Association’s Piping Industry College.
King clarified that in addition to being used as part of his teams promotional efforts, the mobile classroom is actually deployed to remote communities in B.C., where people can learn close to home and not have to travel to the Lower Mainland to master a craft.
The Wage_Wagon was only completed about a month ago, and King said the UA170 team (he and a half dozen other union members) has already rolled it out to a few car shows this summer, including one recently in White Rock and another coming up in Mission.
They’re joining what King called a real push to get young men and women involved in the trades, and he’s excited to team up with Cruise-In.
“We’re just trying to get in front of people and get them to realize the trades are an option,” he said, noting car shows are a great place to reach young people who like to work with their hands and may hold a strong interest in mechanics.
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