Emergency Relief Fund For Houston’s Future Techs


TechForce Foundation’s thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas and Louisiana. We are awaiting updates from many of the Foundation’s scholarship and grant recipients and their fellow students who attend the Universal Technical Institute-Houston campus, training to become automotive, diesel and collision repair technicians.

We are sure that many will need our support and services as a nonprofit dedicated to championing techs once the flood waters subside and they work to put their lives, education and career back on track.

TechForce has an emergency relief fund for these purposes, to ensure our future techs can stay in school, complete their education, and pursue jobs in our amazing industry. If you’d like to contribute to the Houston FutureTech Disaster Relief Fund, donate by clicking here. We know that many of these students will need housing support and transportation, among other things. All donations to this fund are considered a charitable donation, and a receipt will be provided for tax purposes.

We also send our prayers and best wishes to our partners at Shell Lubricants, Universal Technical Institute, Axalta and WheelTime who’s staff we work with daily – as they, too, struggle through this chaos. Be strong!

Jennifer Maher, Executive Director
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Sunstate Equipment Donates $15,000 to Help TechForce Foundation Solve Tech Shortage

As the transportation and heavy equipment industry faces a severe shortfall of qualified automotive and diesel technicians, Sunstate Equipment, a leading Arizona-based equipment rental company with a long history of supporting local communities through charitable giving, is taking action by awarding $15,000 in combined grants to TechForce Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, that will help students demonstrating financial hardship get to and through their technical education and into careers as qualified, professional technicians.

With a widespread deficit of skilled technicians, the industry faces a labor force shortage that could reach increasingly critical levels in the coming years. By supporting TechForce Foundation, Sunstate is not only helping ensure a new generation of skilled technicians enter the industry, but it is also helping provide positive impact on the lives of a deserving group of individuals—our military veterans.

As a company that values people—in fact, 20 percent of Sunstate’s employees have been with them for 20 years or more—Sunstate believes it’s important to take care of people, especially those who’ve sacrificed so much to take care of us. By giving a $5,000 grant to TechForce Foundation’s Veterans at Work: Military Transition Fund, Sunstate is helping cover necessary costs of technical training, such as tuition, relocation and startup, along with advanced training and unforeseen emergency expenses so newly separated veterans can get the training they need to transition their military skills into civilian careers in the transportation industry.

Consequently, by helping incoming veteran students attain their technical education, the industry benefits with a new generation of well-trained, highly-skilled technicians ready to step in and fill the void left by retiring Baby Boomers.  

“It’s undeniable how much of an effect the technician shortage is having on the transportation industry as a whole,” explains Jennifer Maher, CEO of TechForce Foundation. “Whether you are talking techs trained in automotive, diesel trucking and heavy equipment, motorcycles, boats…it’s the same across the board—there’s simply not enough qualified graduates to meet the demand.”

Knowing how much the shortage will negatively impact the future of the industry, Sunstate has also contributed $10,000 in support of TechForce Foundation’s drive to fuel the future pipeline of transportation technicians, FutureTech Successsm.

Through FutureTech Successsm, TechForce Foundation seeks to eliminate antiquated, negative stereotypes, to give middle- and high-school students, parents and influencers the tools to recognize and foster tactile intelligence, and to create a central industry hub of information, resources and best practices.

Sunstate’s support of the initiative goes beyond just monetary aid; its commitment to the mission of FutureTech Successsm is an inclusive, company-wide effort. Sunstate employees have pledged to be a part of the FutureTech Successsm initiative by volunteering for mentoring and participating in video testimonials, which is an especially viable tool for reaching today’s youth that have been raised in a media-driven world.

TechForce Foundation has a big vision but a limited budget for the initiative’s content. To further support this important mission, Sunstate has generously provided the resources needed to produce high quality video content for the FutureTech Successsm microsite. By using real-life examples to demonstrate the many exciting and prosperous career paths available in the transportation industry, young people and their parents and influencers are introduced to the world of transportation technology as a viable, stable, innovative career path. This knowledge is essential for encouraging and raising up the future workforce the industry.

With the technician shortage at an all-time high, it will take the backing of the entire industry to really move the needle on the deficit. “Industry partners like Sunstate are a vital component in this initiative,” explains Maher. “Support of FutureTech Successsm is about declaring a commitment to the future of the industry and a promise to look out for its members. It’s powerful, and it has the potential to really revolutionize the transportation industry if we all remain united on that front.”

With the support of its corporate and association sponsors, TechForce Foundation seeks to enact great change, unifying the transportation industry in one call to encourage young, tactile-minded individuals to consider the industry for what it truly is: innovative, exciting and filled with opportunity.

“The transportation industry is incredibly misunderstood from the outside,” explains Larry Cox, Vice President of Culture at Sunstate Equipment. “Being a technician is a great, high-tech, stable career choice, but that doesn’t have to be a final destination. The industry is sprawling and offers so many different career paths, all built on innovation and starving for talent. That is the message FutureTech Successsm is aiming to convey and why Sunstate’s decision to support the initiative was such an easy one.”

TechForce Foundation and Sunstate Equipment are proud to partner in their commitment to future technicians and the industry, and they look forward to promoting progress and prosperity within the industry through scholarships, grants for veterans, and the FutureTech Successsm initiative.

About TechForce Foundation

TechForce Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), with the mission to champion students to and through their technical education and into careers as professional technicians for the transportation industry. TechForce Foundation awards more than $1 million in scholarships and grants annually to students facing financial hardship so they may obtain their post-secondary technical education. Additionally, TechForce leads the FutureTech Successsm campaign, an industry-wide initiative to drive tomorrow’s workforce of technicians by inspiring, supporting and connecting middle- and high-school students and their influencers with the resources to support their technical education and career development. For more information visit www.techforce.org.

About Sunstate Equipment Co.

Sunstate Equipment has provided construction, industrial and special event companies with top-quality rental equipment and tools since 1977, helping customers safely and efficiently complete projects on-time and on-budget with reliable service and dependable people. Sunstate currently has equipment rental locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. Visit www.SunstateEquip.com for more information.


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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