Calling Mentors in Phoenix

The FutureTech Success campaign is seeking mentors throughout metropolitan Phoenix to inspire middle- and high-school students in automotive technology.

Beginning in Fall 2017, a pilot program at the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix will welcome 8th and 9th graders to tinker during its transportation challenge one day a week afterschool and on periodic Saturdays. Students are coming from Trevor Browne High School and Cartwright’s Estrella Middle School. Forty (40) students will be lead by Science Center staff, automotive instructors and a team of volunteer mentors from throughout industry.

If you are interested in building relationships with aspiring, future technicians and helping develop their technical skills, please contact TechForce Foundation.  Mentors are asked to commit to 6- or 12-week programs, either one day afterschool and/or on one Saturday a month.

Auto Shop Makeovers

FutureTech Success campaign is dedicated to supporting local auto shop programs in high school and afterschool nonprofits across the country. Too often these programs struggle to get the resources and support they deserve. Our industry NEEDS technicians, so helping to ensure they have access to awesome programs is our responsibility. Industry needs to step up to bring the equipment, supplies, tools, training aids, curriculum, mentors and advisors these programs and students need to thrive.

We are currently engaged in our first ever “Shop Overhaul” in both Phoenix, Arizona and Memphis, Tennessee.

At this time, we need:

1 lift, and more items will be posted periodically.

Advisory Committee members in Phoenix to help Trevor Browne High School become NATEF certified. The committee meets twice a year, and counsel the school on what skillsets and curriculum is graduates need to be qualified for industry jobs.

If interested in contributing, contact TechForce Foundation.

Best Practices Sought

Why should we keep reinventing the wheel?  Seriously, we’re all in the same boat regarding the technician shortage and we need to pull together in order to help fuel the future pipeline. This means taking a long, hard look at how we attract, recruit, hire, retain and continually train our technician workforce. FutureTech Success seeks to gather best practices and resources that can be shared industry-wide, so that we can all rise to the level of professionalism required for technicians to choose our industry and jobs over others.

If you have a great resource or best practice to share, please submit it too TechForce Foundation. Thank you!

TechForce Contributes to University of the Aftermarket

New TechForce Foundation Scholarship Available Through University of the Aftermarket Foundation

 Bethesda, MD – March 10, 2017 – The TechForce Foundation will award a new $2,500 scholarship to a high school graduate planning to attend an ASE/NATEF post-secondary school. The scholarship will be administered through the University of the Aftermarket Foundation scholarship central program.

“The TechForce Foundation seeks to help students train for careers in the automotive aftermarket and that goal aligns perfectly with the mission of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation,” said Pete Kornafel, MAAP, a trustee of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation. “We want to thank TechForce for its generous scholarship offering and welcome them to our organization.”

To be eligible for the TechForce Foundation scholarship, an applicant must be a 2017 high school graduate, planning a career in the automotive aftermarket as an automotive, collision or heavy duty service technician, and must have at least a 3.0 high school grade point average. Because the award is issued directly to the school, the scholarship recipient must also provide post-secondary enrollment confirmation.

To apply for the new TechForce Foundation scholarship by the March 31, 2017 deadline, visit

For more information about the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, or to make a donation, call (816) 584-0511. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and all contributions are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

About TechForce Foundation: TechForce Foundation encourages and supports students to and through their technical education, and into careers in the automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, marine, NASCAR and other transportation industries through scholarships, grants, career development and other special programs. For more information, visit

About the University of the Aftermarket Foundation

Since 1986, the University of the Aftermarket Foundation has funded millions of dollars of scholarships, grants, research and ongoing educational programs to help develop a strong, knowledgeable aftermarket work force. The foundation encourages industry support, including donations for the purpose of honoring or memorializing individuals or otherwise recognizing special events, to help ensure the continued availability of training and education that strengthen the industry. To learn more about the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, visit or contact Barbara Cunningham at or 816-584-0511.

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Industry Campaign Video Unveiled


TechForce Foundation unveils video previewing FutureTech Success campaign

TechForce Foundation unveiled its video, “What Would You Tell the Younger You?” created to help industry understand the messaging, positioning and promise of its forthcoming FutureTech Success, an industry-wide initiative to address and solve the technician shortage. Industry is invited to share the video with colleagues, vendors and other businesses, and all are encouraged to support the campaign in whatever means possible.

Currently, 15 “early adopters” are sought:  visionary companies that believe in the mission of this campaign and that are willing to invest $50,000 to be a national corporate supporter. A robust package of rights and benefits accompany this investment. Currently four early adopters have signed on:  Advance Auto Parts/CARQUEST, Bridgestone Retail Operations, Nissan North America, and Universal Technical Institute.  We need 11 more.

For more information on being a corporate supporters, download our corporate partner brochure. To view the industry video, view it here and/or on YouTube. Please share it often. To donate any dollar amount to the campaign, visit our online donation portal or contact Todd Armstrong at


NASCAR Tech Student Madison Conrad Revs Up For Her New Career


Maison Conrad | NASCAR Student | TechForce Foundation | FutureTech Success
Photo by Joe Habina

The 2017 NASCAR season begins soon and so will the racing career for one of NASCAR Technical Institute’s finest students.

Madison Conrad, a 19-year-old Mooresville resident, will be completing the Auto/NASCAR/Pit Crew program at the Mooresville-based institution and moving on to a full-time job at Roush Yates Engines.

Madison Conrad aspires to be a trackside engine tuner at Roush Yates Engines. 

Conrad, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has made the most of her experience at NASCAR Tech, one of 12 campuses nationwide operated by Universal Technical Institute. Her academic achievement has been decorated with numerous school-issued awards and she has served as the campus’s Student Council president.

Conrad recently received the Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award by the Technical Foundation. The annual prize of $8,500 is awarded to one UTI student who completes 52 weeks of core curriculum and stands out academically and serves as a good role model and teammate to her fellow classmates.

“It’s by far the most prestigious award offered by this campus and UTI,” said Conrad, who will apply the cash award to student loan payments. “So it’s a true honor to be selected out of 13,000 students.”

At Roush Yates Engines, where Conrad served as an intern for six months, she aspires to be a trackside engine tuner, a goal she anticipates taking several years to achieve. Conrad says her path will likely start with tearing down and assembling engines. Ultimately, she would like to be a race team car chief or crew chief.

It is a career Conrad seemingly was born to pursue.

Her father and grandfather dabbled in racing in New Mexico and the elementary school-aged Conrad often followed them to the dirt and asphalt tracks, helping them in the garages and pits by handing them tools and scraping the mud off wheels. By the age of 14, she was the one behind the steering wheel.

Over four years, Conrad raced Street Stock, modified, and Legends cars “all over the West Coast” she says, adding that she took home rookie of the year and points championship trophies at different times in her divisions.

As a student at Albuquerque’s Eldorado High School, Conrad was inspired by the automotive classes she took. She says it was “a dream come true” that a UTI recruiter once visited her school and told her about the institute’s programs.

The closest UTI campus was in Phoenix, Ariz., but it did not offer the program that interested Conrad. She wanted to pursue a career in NASCAR.

Five months after graduating high school in 2015, Conrad’s parents, Steve and Michelle Conrad, helped her move to Mooresville. It was 1,700 miles from her home, nearly the equivalent of driving three Coca Cola 600s.

Conrad enrolled at NASCAR Tech, a 146,000-square-foot building with about 900 students. NIT offers a wide array of automotive programs but Conrad chose to concentrate on its NASCAR elective curriculum.

“Leaving home definitely wasn’t easy,” said Conrad. “It was a 1,700-mile move, but I always knew to make it big in this industry you have to make big moves so that was my biggest motivator. It was something I was really passionate about. It was never a question of whether I wanted to do it, it was just a matter of how and when.”

Over the last 15 months, Conrad took classes on engines and pit stops, impressing her teachers, including pit stop instructor Craig Hibdon, with her knowledge, ambition and her positive attitude.

“As we went through each step of the pit stop process,” said Hibson, a Huntersville resident. “… she’s changing tires, she’s hubbing tires, which is a pretty tough job to do. And then she gets on the jack and she’s jacking a car up.

“As we’re getting started with getting our pit stops done, later in the course, she’s rotating in just like one of the guys. And that’s really who she is, just one of the guys. You couldn’t ask for a better student.”

Original article published by Charlotte Observer

Joe Habina is a freelance writer:


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"By connecting students, instructors, industry pros and working techs, the TechForce Foundation provides unilateral support to the transportation industry’s technician recruiting needs… The administration of our Scholarships by the TechForce team has been instrumental in delivering us with a successful method to gain interest from qualified candidates as well as provide our students with additional assistance to complete their education."
Tony Farr
Ford Technical Programs Manager