How the Fueling Careers scholarship is driving minority talent to the auto industry — Kathy Gilbert | CDK Global

CDK Global and NAMAD, the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, teamed up for their sixth annual Fueling Careers scholarship. $50,000 in scholarships was awarded in total, and on today’s show, we’re learning more about this program and its mission. We’re pleased to welcome Kathy Gilbert to Inside Automotive. Kathy is the Senior Director, Minority Dealer and Women Retail for CDK Global.

Through their long-time partnership, CDK Global and NAMAD developed the Fueling Careers scholarship, a program for ethnic minority high school students of dealership managers who demonstrate a financial need to pursue a college education. NAMAD and its members took the opportunity to endorse the students and create engagement. The whole goal behind the program, Gilbert says, is to drive talent to the automotive industry.

Each year, five recipients are awarded $10,000 each to help pay for higher learning at a college or university. Added this year, the recipients also have the opportunity to attend an internship CDK to gain real-world experience.

CDK Global and CDK Global have been partners for over 25 years to support the minority community. Through their partnership, the Fueling Careers scholarship became an innovative way to identify and grow talent within the minority community.

The scholarship also recognizes young people who are resilient as tuition prices rise. The program helps reduce the financial burden so students can really focus on achieving their academic excellence. If a NAMAD member identifies a manager with a college-bound student, they can endorse the student and their application. It’s a great way for NAMAD members to be involved with the process as a whole.

Using a third-party service to administer the application process, applicants are reviewed for criteria, including academic record, scholastic achievement, leadership, and community service. ISTS (International Scholarship and Tuition Services) then administers a list of winners to CDK Global and NAMAD, who ultimately select the final five recipients.

The Fueling Careers scholarship started in 2017 and was designed to last for three years. Now, into its sixth year, the program has awarded over $300,000 to help these college students.

Over the years, CDK and NAMAD found that the program was also driving more students to pursue careers in the automotive industry. Sometimes, students believe that automotive is just retail, but it expands across the fields of accounting, marketing, business administration, technology, and more.

dealersDid you enjoy this interview wth Kathy Gilbert? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by connecting with us at

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok to stay up to date.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.