Automotive scholarships & Apprenticeships
Two Paths to Help the Next Generation Enter the Collector Car Industry
The Piston Foundation offers young folks a means of receiving skilled trade education through its scholarship and apprenticeship programs. Both programs are designed to facilitate learning opportunities and create a new generation of expert car restoration specialists. If you are a student planning to attend a skilled trade school, explore the details surrounding a Piston Fund Scholarship. If you are already working as a technician or looking to gain new skills in the art of car restoration, then consider applying for apprenticeship placement through the Piston Academy.
Skilled Trade Education Scholarships
The Piston Fund
The Piston Fund helps students take their first steps towards a skilled trade career. If you are attending, accepted, or enrolled in a 2- or 4-year automotive technology program and have a strong interest in working with collector cars, a Piston Fund scholarship can help make school more affordable.
Vehicle Restoration Apprenticeships
The Piston Academy
The Piston Academy helps qualified technicians and re-skilling workers learn the skills and craft of collector car restoration and service by apprenticing with today’s master craftspeople. The Academy provides apprenticeship placements at leading restoration shops, a hands-on learning plan, mentoring, and a training grant.
The collector car industry has rewarding, high-paying jobs that are and alternative to 4-year college degrees. The problem is that potential workers don’t know these opportunities exist. And if they do, the high cost of education and the lack of on-the-job training stop young people from pursuing these careers.
We need to help them. Because who will work on a collector car in 5 years, 10 years, or 20? It’s a good question. The lack of qualified mechanics and restoration specialists, meager grassroots funding, and minimal career awareness, means the collector car industry may not survive. Together, we can change that and in the process, align people with amazing careers.
From the Piston Blog
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.
Sign up for our monthly email with stories, updates, and volunteer opportunities.