World of Speed’s mission is to serve a wide range of audiences through varied, interdisciplinary educational programs, integrating the study of history, art, culture, science and technology to appeal to all ages, backgrounds, and interests. World of Speed aims to build the community by being an educational resource for local schools, institutions, organizations and groups, facilitating life-long learning, growth, and a lasting relationship between these public groups and World of Speed.

The Greater Need

Vocational education has all but disappeared from our schools when we need engineers more than ever. Heck, we put a man on the moon more than 40 years ago and yet the U.S. is in danger of losing its world leadership role because we are failing to educate new generations of engineers. At the very basic level, we can’t outsource the repair of our vehicles to a foreign country. Consequently, we need places that inspire young people to explore things with their hands, not just their thumbs.

World of Speed will do that with historic racecars and numerous interactive exhibits that excite and inspire young people to explore career opportunities in the auto industry. The industry employs nearly 2 million people but impacts about 8 million jobs – everything from designing the exterior and interiors of vehicles to, well, tightening lug nuts at the assembly plant.

Beyond the auto industry, there’s a sub set of people working in the performance aftermarket and racing industry that the Specialty Equipment Market Association says is worth $30 billion annually. There are many career opportunities here that few know about: everything from the chef who cooks the race team’s food to the marketing and PR person who tells the world how the team did. In between there are myriad jobs from actual vehicle fabrication to the guys tightening the lug nuts at the track. A typical professional NASCAR team might employ 140 people – jobs for the boys, and girls.”

World of Speed’s goal will be to expose young people to the opportunities, educate them to a level where they can either enter the work force or go on to more specialized further education and give them a fun and exciting environment in which to learn.

Tony Thacker
Executive Director


November, 2013: PSU Formula SAE Students visit Maher Solutions
October, 2013: JFC Racing Track Test Day with PSU Formula SAE Students
June 2013: Portland Historic Road Races Display
February, 2013: OSU Visit

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