Build a Career in the Collector Car Industry
Turn your love of cars into a rewarding career in auto restoration and service.
We get it. You’re the type to spend hours scrolling through your social media feed for your daily fix of vintage car models and racing highlights. You love working on your own car and can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday than at the local car show. But can a passion for cars really be turned into a fulfilling career? Whether you already know this is the path for you or you’re still looking to find that answer, we’re committed to helping you take the next big step. Check out our scholarships and apprenticeships below to learn more and apply.
The Piston Fund
The Piston Fund program provides automotive trades scholarships to graduates with an interest in collector cars. If you plan to enroll in a 2- or 4-year automotive technology program and you have a strong interest in working with collector cars, a Piston Fund scholarship can help make school more affordable.
The Piston Academy
The Piston Academy program provides apprenticeship placements and training grants to qualified technicians who want to begin a career in collector car restoration. If you are a working automotive technician, the Piston Academy can provide job placement and grant money to make an earn-as-you-learn restoration apprenticeship possible.
Skilled trades today
The U.S. is currently facing a workforce shortage across all skilled trade industries.
According to a recent report by Stanley Black & Decker, the skilled labor shortage has left 650,000 jobs, including those in the car restoration industry, unfilled. There is, however, a silver lining to all this. There has never been a better time to pursue a career in the skilled trades and an education in these fields will place any qualified candidate in high demand. Our Piston foundation scholarship or apprenticeship aims to bring you one step closer to working in one of these highly valued and rewarding skilled trades careers.
Piston Scholar Stories
Victoria Bruno Is Turning Her Hobby Into a Career
In the “olden” days it might have surprised most people in the collector car world to meet a woman who had the same passion as they had for restoring cars and their engines. But, these are different times. Barriers have been knocked down and Victoria Bruno is part of a new generation of skilled technicians.
Piston Scholar Sean Whetstone is Dreaming of Collector Cars
Many of us are inspired at an early age to pursue a dream career. Fewer of us turn our inspiration into a reality. Sean Whetstone, 22, of Fort Collins, Colorado, is one of those individuals—a first generation “car guy” who knew his calling long before he purchased a 1966 Corvair to restore at the age of 17.
Jacob Koehn Shifts from Finance To a Restoration Career
Not all college students are in their teens or early 20s. Some return to higher education after years at “regular” jobs that don’t satisfy their need for personal accomplishment. Jacob Koehn took that turn into auto restoration and a Piston Scholarship helped him.
Piston Scholar Edwin Buiter Steps into Car Restoration
Edwin Buiter, of Ireton, Iowa, is an inaugural recipient of a Piston Scholarship and a student at McPherson College, at just 20 years old, has a collection of four classic cars and proudly and happily works on each of them. While he doesn’t have the budget of most classic car owners, he says, “cars are my passion and I make sacrifices in my life in order to own and maintain my vehicles.”
Piston Scholar Ethan Heck is Off to the Races
21-year-old Ethan Heck is a student at Lanier Technical College in Gainesville, Georgia, enrolled in the Motorsports Vehicle Technology program. While most recipients of the inaugural Piston Scholarships focus primarily on acquiring the skills to restore and/or work on classic and older cars, Ethan “stumbled across videos of stage rallying on the Internet,” at a young age and instantly knew he wanted to be a racing mechanic.
Piston Scholar Zoe Carmichael Loves Her Volkswagen
Zoe Carmichael, 27, is on the verge of turning her knack for repairing her beloved Volkswagen into a restoration profession. She is a non-traditional student at McPherson College and one of the inaugural recipients of the Piston Fund Scholarships in 2022 for students who wish to pursue hands-on careers in the collector car industry.
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