What is the Automotive Trades Foundation?

Students working on undercarriage of carAutomotive Trades Foundation (ATF) is dedicated to ensuring that young people get the best possible education, training and preparation for continued education and a full range of careers within the automotive industry.

The result of an ongoing partnership between businesses and public schools in Montgomery County, ATF provides students with unparalleled classroom instruction and hands-on experience in the maintenance, repair, sales and marketing of automobiles. The ATF program is administered by the Montgomery County Students Automotive Trades Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization serving Montgomery County businesses and students since 1978.

The Automotive Trades Foundation (ATF), also known as The Montgomery County Students Automotive Trades Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit foundation established cooperatively by Montgomery County Public Schools and the business community in Montgomery County to promote and advance the interests of automotive education through the establishment of a student-run licensed used car dealership. This unique method of training high school students for skilled positions in the automotive field offers hands-on instruction to students interested in an automotive career. Students are introduced to potential employers with available automotive positions in technical service, customer service, sales and management.

Students receive valuable on-the-job training that prepares them for higher educational opportunities or direct entry into the automotive job market.

The ATF program also offers students the opportunity to earn advanced placement credit toward post-secondary education. During the school year, final-year ATF students are placed in local automobile dealerships for two full days of one-on-one training with experts in the automotive industry to enhance their knowledge of the real world and to establish employment contacts.

 Staff member with student  

The Automotive Trades Foundation program (ATF) takes an active role in the community each year by awarding scholarships to outstanding students and by donating vehicles to local charitable organizations.


The ATF Scholarship  

The Montgomery County Students Automotive Trades Foundation, Inc. Scholarship was established promote excellence within the automobile industry.

This scholarship is only open to MCPS seniors who are participating in MCPS automotive programs. There is a short window the scholarship is open in February/March. Automotive instructors share the information with their students and interested students must complete and submit their applications by the deadline. The winner is typically announced during the ATF Career Day recognition in May. 

To request additional information contact Kelly Johnson at the ATF office at (240) 740-2051 or Kelly_R_Johnson@mcpsmd.org.


Program Testimonials

Harold Barber1  Harold Barber, Edison High School Graduate     


Logan Brooks, Damascus High School Graduate


"I love this auto technology program, and will continue for a second year.  The teachers are very supportive and knowledgeable.” “If you have any interest in auto technology…TRY IT …it will help you decide if an auto career is right for you.”
Harley Langenstein
Junior; completed 1 year ATF Automotive Technology


"You need no prior auto knowledge, there is both classroom and hands-on learning and you will make friends and valuable connections.”  “I had no real career direction before enrolling in the ATF auto tech classes at Edison.  Now, immediately upon graduating, I have three great auto tech career choices. Auto tech education will jump-start your future!"
Jonathan Jean-Baptiste
2011 graduate; completed 2 years ATF Automotive Technology program