Under The Hood | September 2021


Because I’m A Tech Stories | Transportation Technician Careers | Nominations For 2021 Techs Rock Awards Open | Women Techs Rock – Josie Whitlock | Shop Owner Luke Walker Pays It Forward | Car Industry Events in TechForce | Technician Scholarship Story From Derrick | Name Of Your Ride Using Song Lyrics

Thank you to all who shared their “Because I’m a Tech…” story

Thank you to all who shared their “Because I’m a Tech…” story2020-08_Ultimate Guide TransTech Careers_Cover image

We asked and you answered! Thank you to every transportation technician who shared what they have been able to accomplish because they’re a tech. TechForce reached tens of millions of Americans with accurate representations of technician careers as the secure, high-tech, “new collar” careers that they are. Help correct misperceptions held by people in your circle by sharing our Ultimate Guide to Transportation Technician Careers>>


Nominations for the 2021 Techs Rock Awards open next month

TRA 2021_Awards Full Logo_Dark Text

We’re excited to announce nominations for the 3rd annual Techs Rock Awards will be open from 10/25/2021 to 11/10/21! Help us celebrate the nation’s most accomplished transportation technicians. Spread the word to drive nominations by sharing the flyers, ads and other assets in the “FutureTech Success® Free Marketing” section of the TechForce I-HUB Resource Portal>>


Women Techs Rock: Josie’s story proves the value of mentorship


Meet Josie Whitlock, a technician with Matt’s Automotive Service Center in Fargo, North Dakota. Josie’s time at Matt’s is proof that a shop’s culture starts at the top. The owner makes respect a top priority, even going so far as to refuse customers who don’t want a woman to work on their car! The result? A shop that fully accepts women techs. Read Josie’s full interview to learn more>>


See where TechForce’s Career Hub can take you

Welcome-Career-Hub_LI_1200x675_210720With the Career Hub in TechForce’s network, you can create and manage your resume and find the right job for you! Whether you’re looking to get your start or searching for the next step in your career, you will find what you need with Career Hub in TechForce’s network. Create your free account or log in to get started>>

Part II: Technician and shop owner Luke Walker pays it forward

Luke Walker headshot - Jul2021-2-1TechForce’s blog introduced readers to Luke Walker, an energetic and highly motivated entrepreneur in Columbus, Ohio who built a fledging one-stall independent shop into a well-oiled machine. This month, we continue his incredible story by sharing how Luke is giving back and supporting students in his community>>

TechForce is the place to find events

Screen Shot 2021-09-15 at 3.14.10 PMAre you looking for something to do? Check out the events tab in TechForce’s social network. Whether you want to make industry connections, learn, or just have fun TechForce has something for you! Log in to explore events like UTI’s free Power & Performance Workshop at JoinTechForce.org>>

Pursuing your passion with TechForce scholarships

Derrick Graham_2037178766 (2)Congratulations to diesel technician student Derrick Graham on receiving a TechForce Foundation scholarship! Derrick says, “I have loved semi-trucks for as long as I can remember. I wanted to learn as much about them as I could. My passion is the diesel engine.” Sound like you? Find a career that fits with scholarships, e-learning and resources through TechForce’s network>>

Bring the repair bay into the classroom with T2U!

T2U GraphicTomorrow’s Technician University (T2U) is a free, interactive learning management system designed for high school and college-level students in technical programs. Registered instructors and students gain access to hours of instructional videos, quizzes and tests produced by both ASE certified technicians and leading automotive aftermarket brands. New courses are added monthly, with topics ranging from data bus diagnostic and meter usage to hybrid repair. See current T2U course offerings here>>

Something fun… What song lyrics best describe your ride?

Lyrics Contest HeaderWe know some of our favorite songs are all about working in the garage, racing with our friends, or just cruising down the highway. We want to hear yours! Tell us what your favorite song lyrics about your vehicle is for a chance to win points in the TechForce network. Enter the contest at JoinTechForce.org>>


Thank you to all TechForce Foundation partners!

TFF-ALL-Partners-Logo-Lockup-210921Associations: Automotive Communications Council, Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association (AMRA), American Rental Association (ARA), Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Automotive Service Association (ASA), Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), ASE Education Foundation, ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC), Auto Care Association/Women in Auto Care, Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT), Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA), Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR), Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence, National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada (NAACC), National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF), National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), National Center for Autonomous Technology (NCAT), SkillsUSA, STEAM Sports Foundation and American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC)

Celebrities: Charles Sanville (The Humble Mechanic), Lyn St. James (IndyCar), Bogi Lateiner (Girl Gang Garage), Steve Johnson (Steve Johnson Racing – NHRA) and Julia Landauer (Julia Landauer Racing – NASCAR)

Women Techs Rock: Josie Whitlock proves the value of good mentorship

This technician spotlight is published as part of TechForce Foundation’s diversity initiatives. Help us find other women technicians to highlight in Women Techs Rock. Get started at TechForce.org/WomenTechStories



Women Techs Rock Highlight

A square graphic, split down the middle. The left half has Josie Whitlock's quote "Be the reason someone smiles today." The left half has a photo of Josie Whitlock at work next to a vehicle's engine.Name: Josie Whitlock
Employer: Matt’s Automotive Service Center
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
School: North Dakota State College of Science


Who is Josie Whitlock?

In any career – or any endeavor, for that matter – a great support system is key to success. Fortunately, Josie Whitlock has had the support of friends, family, and instructors throughout her education and career as an Automotive Technician.

Josie’s first taste of an automotive career was in high school, when she worked in a tire shop. While she loved her time there, she envisioned a career in the military, which unfortunately wasn’t in the cards. Recalling the auto shop classes she enjoyed in high school, she enrolled at North Dakota State College of Science, where she found a community of like-minded and supportive instructors, administrators, and peers, devoid of the sexism that so many up-and- coming women techs experience.

Graduating with an Associate of Arts and Sciences in Automotive Technology, Josie started her career in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, before moving to Fargo, North Dakota, and Matt’s Automotive Service Center. And what a great move it was.

At Matt’s, she’s found an owner and mentor who is not only a master mechanic who leads in-house training, but who also makes respect a top priority. He even goes so far as to do personality testing before hiring, to ensure that the shop remains a drama-free and support-heavy environment. And when there’s a customer who refuses to have their car serviced by a woman? Matt sends them down the road. It’s support like this that makes Josie believe that those old stereotypes are changing. She’s worked with women service writers, lube techs, and full-service techs, and works among a group that fully accepts her and her role in the industry. In fact, applications to “Women Techs Rock!” were submitted by most, if not all, of her male co-workers.

That’s the kind of support to build a career on.


Q & A:

Where do you want to take your career?

“I want to learn more about electronics to be able to do advanced diagnostics and recalibration of safety systems.”


What is your near- and long-term vision for yourself?

“I want to stay with Matt’s. They’re family-oriented with great growth potential and plenty of ongoing training to stay current.”


Was you family behind your career choice?

“Mom wasn’t sure if this was a good choice and thought a four-year program would be best. She’s a lawyer. But after I got started and she said that I was thriving and doing well, she changed her mind.”


What advice would you give a young woman?

“Find your confidence! Know when to speak up and how to deal with adversity. It’s not something they teach in school and it’s a lesson worth learning young. Also, don’t stir the pot unnecessarily. If you have an issue, try to resolve it on your own first.”


Do you have a personal mantra?

“Be the reason someone smiles today.”



Women Techs Rock: EV tech Allison Donohoo works on the cutting edge of transportation

This technician spotlight is published as part of TechForce Foundation’s diversity initiatives. Help us find other women technicians to highlight in Women Techs Rock. Get started at TechForce.org/WomenTechStories



A picture of technician Allison Donohoo wearing a baseball cap and a blue and white work shirt, next to her quote, "You don't need to think about yourself any differently because you're a woman."Women Techs Rock Highlight

Name: Allison Donohoo
Employer: Crest Volvo
Age: 23
Location: Frisco, Texas
School: Universal Technical Institute


Who is Allison Donohoo?

Like a lot of techs, Allison Donohoo’s interest in the automotive field started with her family. It was a shared love of NASCAR – the speed, the sounds, the smells of the races – that first sparked what would become a lifelong fascination with all thing technical – especially engines.

While she didn’t grow up around people who worked on cars, when high school came around and she needed to keep her car running, she took to tinkering. Self-motivated and undaunted by the challenge of learning something new, Allison largely taught herself the way around a garage. Combining that experience with a love of electronics and robotics, she naturally gravitated toward becoming a tech, studying both automotive and diesel at UTI (Universal Technical Institute).

Eventually dropping the diesel portion of her education, she graduated and quickly found herself as the first woman service technician – EV/Hybrid certified – at the family-owned Crest Volvo in Frisco, Texas. And while she experienced the same kind of difficulties many women find in male-dominated professions, she found that once she had the opportunity to prove herself to her co-working techs, she was welcomed as an equal part of an outstanding team.

Now, she’s writing a new chapter to her story, taking on the role of Volvo Technical Training Instructor for the Volvo SAFE Program with Calibre in South Carolina. From a self-taught tinkerer to a full-fledged teacher, we can’t wait to see who she inspires to follow in her footsteps.


Q & A:

What’s the hardest part of being a woman tech?

“You have to work harder to gain trust and you have to work smarter. It isn’t about the hours put in; it’s about the outcomes and the customer.”


Tell us about a memorable moment when you were treated differently as a women tech.

“At UTI, an instructor gave me a hard time throughout the class, but apologized when I got a perfect score. I also had a student asked me if I was there looking for a husband. ‘Nope,’ I said. ‘I’m looking for a career!’”


What do you tell yourself when something gets tough?

“You can be scared to do anything, but so what? If you’re scared, do it anyway!”


What do you think it will take to get more women into the tech profession?

“You have to really want it. You should have passion and you don’t need to think about yourself any differently because you’re a woman.”



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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