FutureTech Success Welcomes First Marine Sector Partner




Read Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) Vice President Liz Walz’s

Letter of support for TechForce Foundation®‘s FutureTech Success campaign below:


March 21, 2019


Dear Friends,


It’s no secret that the marine industry is faced with a severe shortage of qualified workers. In fact, the 517 marine industry businesses, representing more than 1,300 retail locations across North America, that participated in MRAA’s 2016 Workforce Assessment Survey ranked “shortage of skilled labor” the second-highest among issues that negatively impact their business.


More than 20 percent of the positions that marine dealers budgeted to have on their payrolls in 2016 were unfilled, according to the survey results. Looking ahead, 74.8 percent of respondents also suggested they would need to add more staff over the next three years, and on average, these respondents estimated they would need to hire six more positions — 3.5 full-time and 2.6 part-time positions — by 2019.


If you project that out over the 3,100 dealerships across North America, the marine industry could be looking at a shortage today of more than 30,000 employees. And that’s just in the retail sector.


As the North American trade association for marine retailers, MRAA has been hard at work creating workforce solutions to help marine dealers find success, including the launch of a career center, job descriptions, training guides and workforce-related educational resources. In addition, its sibling organization, the MRAA Educational Foundation, offers a number of scholarships to encourage people to pursue careers in marine retailing and once they’ve entered the industry, to successfully develop in their careers.


Where we see an unfilled need, however, is in outreach to, communication with and education of prospective students, their parents and the secondary schools who nurture their development regarding careers in marine retailing.


That’s why we are pleased to share with you our enthusiasm for the TechForce Foundation’s new national initiative, FutureTech Success™, an effort aimed at fueling the pipeline of tomorrow’s workforce of technicians. This is a comprehensive and multi-faceted initiative, but some of the key components include:

• Turning parents and influencers of 13-18 year old’s from naysayers to champions by delivering the message that being a technician is a successful, in-demand and valued career path;

• Making tactile challenges available for young men and women to experience the rewards of working and creating with their hands;

• And working together as an industry to deliver a unified public message around tech career opportunities, and to recognize and share best practices.


MRAA has had numerous communications (i.e. phone calls, e-mails, and face-to-face meetings) with the TechForce Foundation staff, and we see great opportunity to collaborate to develop a strong pipeline of future marine technicians.


As a result, MRAA is supporting the TechForce Foundation through the following:

• Educating our membership on the initiative and its mission;

• Distributing the initiative’s marketing campaign content so that the positive messages can make their way to parents and influencers of our FutureTechs;

• Helping to identify resources to assist in the creation of tactile challenges;

• And working together with FutureTech Success™ supporters to identify and communicate industry best practices.


Please join us in learning more about this new national initiative, and in pledging your marketing muscle as well as any other support you can offer. To learn more, visit futuretechsuccess.org.



Liz Walz
Vice President
Marine Retailers Association of the Americas



CarMax Joins Campaign to End Technician Shortage


The logo of TechForce Foundation

CarMax's logo







Partnership to support industry-wide initiative to address technician shortage


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — March 18, 2019 — With the transportation industry’s growing demand for technicians, CarMax is partnering with TechForce Foundation on its FutureTech Success campaign in an effort to raise awareness of trade and technical careers. As an advocate supporter of FutureTech Success, CarMax has made a $50,000 annual commitment and will help TechForce Foundation champion creating a pipeline of talent within the industry for auto technicians.


TechForce Foundation is a leading educational nonprofit 501(c)(3) that has developed the FutureTech Success 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 necessary to support their technical education and career development.


“Auto technicians at CarMax are critical to our success, so we want to be at the forefront of the effort to attract new talent in a rapidly changing industry”, said Chris Sloan, assistant vice president, service operations at CarMax. “Attracting talent with the necessary skills needed to be an auto tech is a priority for us, which is why we are investing in educating students and increasing awareness of the opportunities throughout industry.”


Not only will this partnership focus on raising the profile of trade and technical careers, which is a necessary step to support the exponential growth and demand for auto technicians, it will help improve the image of technician careers.


“Parents often believe that the auto technician career is not desirable due to an outdated understanding of potential wages and the career path,” said Jennifer Maher, CEO and Executive Director of TechForce Foundation. “We are excited to partner with CarMax to reframe the stigmas and help future techs gain the technical skills they need to deliver best-in-class services throughout their careers.”


About CarMax
CarMax is the nation’s largest retailer of used cars and operates more than 200 stores in 41 states nationwide. CarMax revolutionized the auto industry by delivering the honest, transparent and high-integrity car buying experience customers want and deserve. For more than 25 years, CarMax has made car buying more ethical, fair and stress-free by offering a no-haggle, no-hassle experience and an incredible selection of vehicles. CarMax makes selling your car easy too, by offering no-obligation appraisals good for seven days. At CarMax, we’ll buy your car even if you don’t buy ours®. CarMax has approximately 25,000 associates nationwide and for 15 consecutive years has been named as one of the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For®. During the 12 months ending February 28, 2018, the company retailed 721,512 used cars and sold 408,509 wholesale vehicles at its in-store auctions. For more information, access the CarMax website at www.carmax.com.


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 transportation technicians. The Foundation distributes more than $2.0 million in scholarships and grants annually, thanks to its generous corporate sponsors and donors, and is spearheading FutureTech Success®, the industry-wide initiative to help encourage and support more young people to pursue the vehicle technician profession. For more information, visit www.techforce.org.


CarMax Contact:
Lindsey Duke, click to email, 804-317-8852

TechForce Foundation Contact:
Jennifer Maher, click to email, 623-445-0933 or 602-550-0371




Please share your contact details and a TechForce team member will contact you.

"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