Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (UTI) has been a faithful friend to TechForce Foundation (formerly known as the Universal Technical Institute Foundation) since the very beginning more than ten years ago, consistently providing support through donations and aid to ensure TechForce’s mission (to champion students to and through their technical education and into careers as professional technicians in the transportation industry) remains a reality. Not only has UTI persisted as a reliable and passionate ally in raising up the next generation of technicians, it has also served as a springboard for the expansion of the Foundation, playing an integral role in empowering TechForce to partner with a diversity of corporations, institutions, and associations.
UTI has led the pack consistently since 2007 as the Foundation’s largest single donor, donating over $1 million to TechForce in 2016. UTI also supports TechForce and its mission through its annual employee-giving campaign, Care2Share. Care2Share invites employers, employees, and customers to support the technicians of tomorrow through donations to its Life Happens Emergency Relief fund that helps students stay in school when a sudden financial emergency strikes. This year alone, UTI employees contributed $55,000 to aiding tech students in achieving the education and careers of their dreams. In addition to its monetary support, UTI provides donated office space for TechForce, allowing funds to be freed up and used for impacting the lives of student techs.
UTI’s commitment to bettering the lives of future technicians has endured through much change and growth as TechForce rebranded from UTI Foundation to TechForce Foundation last year, and continues to expand both its circle of donors and partners, and its mission.
The Foundation has been gearing up to launch its FutureTech SuccessSM campaign, purposed with driving the pipeline of future technicians through informing and inspiring young people and their parents and influencers, and connecting them with the expansive range opportunities available in the world of automotive tech. “To be effective in this endeavour, the Foundation needs to be unbiased, a sort of Switzerland among corporate donors, constantly clear that our shared mission is to inspire, support, and connect students to education and careers in the transportation industry,” notes Kim McWaters, Chairman and CEO of UTI.
UTI has signed on as one of seven major early sponsors of this initiative, in addition to supporting scholarships and grants for current students facing financial hardships. As TechForce seeks to build new connections with partners and sponsors to support the expansion of its mission, the Foundation can rest assured knowing it has a stable groundwork built on its relationships with longstanding partners like UTI.
“Change is hard, but it’s worth it,” further explains McWaters. “The struggle to recruit trained techs has risen to a critical level in every corner of the transportation services industry, and it will only get worse. Something needs to be done. An industry-wide effort is required, and the Foundation is the right leader for the job.”
Todd Armstrong, Vice President for National Partnerships at TechForce Foundation, recalls that John White, former CEO of UTI, was the first person to really urge TechForce’s Board of Directors to expand their thinking and focus heavily on bringing more technicians into the industry. “It would be good for UTI, it would be good for all the other automotive training schools or companies in the country, and ultimately good for the industry,” Armstrong explains of White’s vision for the Foundation’s expansion. “To put it another way: a rising tide lifts all boats.”
UTI recognizes this growth as a way to come alongside TechForce and impact the education, careers, and futures of exponentially more individuals. They truly care about both the individual technician and the future of the industry as a whole and, as such, have encouraged TechForce’s growth and new partnerships as a way to provide even more aid to tech students and fuel the highly-skilled workforce necessary to keep up with the rapidly expanding and incredibly advanced world of transportation tech.
“UTI has been such a great help to TechForce through its continued support during this transition. They helped create and foster the Foundation in the early days, and now that we are ready to spread our wings and function on a larger, more inclusive scale, they’ve committed to walking alongside us as we work to reach our full potential,” explains Jennifer Maher, CEO of TechForce Foundation. UTI’s enduring partnership through this transition has helped the Foundation as it expands and explores a variety of options that will allow both TechForce and UTI to better aid future technicians and ultimately revolutionize the industry.
As TechForce Foundation seeks to connect with every facet of the transportation industry, it recognizes the mighty role UTI has played in promoting the expansion of the Foundation’s mission. A bright future awaits both the field of transportation tech in its entirety and the techs in training today who will serve as the foundation for the rapid expansion and innovation propelling the industry forward. Together, UTI and TechForce seek to ensure that forward motion not only persists, but grows exponentially when fueled by the highly-skilled and passionate transportation techs in training today.
TechForce Foundation is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit that encourages and supports students pursuing post-secondary technical education and careers in the transportation industry. The Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants annually, thanks to its generous corporate sponsors and donors. For more information visit
Universal Technical Institute, Inc. is the leading provider of post-secondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. UTI offers undergraduate degree and diploma programs at 12 campuses across the United States, as well as manufacturer-specific training programs at dedicated training centers through several well-known brands, including Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Motorcycle Mechanics Institute and Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) and NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech).