Each fall, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) partners with the Iowa Automotive Dealers Association (IADA) to host the High School Automotive Skills Contest. The purpose of this contest is to encourage any students interested in auto mechanics to thoroughly study and understand basic automotive principles, experience the technical skills required of professional technicians working in the automotive service and repair industry, and explore the excellent automotive training programs at DMACC. Students learn about the multiple scholarships that IADA provides for prospective students, compete for DMACC scholarships, tools, and other prizes, and tour the auto labs where they can continue their training after graduation.
The Skills Contest is conducted in two parts, a written exam and a hands-on competition. The top eight schools who place highest in the written portion of the competition are invited to bring back two students from the junior/senior grades to compete in the hands-on portion of the contest a few months later. Although freshman and sophomores are not able to participate in the hands-on portion of the Skills Contest, one freshman and one sophomore with the highest scores in the written portion are invited back to receive a special prize.