Under the Hood Newsletter | August 2022

Under The Hood | Newsletter | TechForce
The official newsletter of TECHFORCE FOUNDATION®

August 2022

Because I'm a Tech - Turbocharge your future!

TechForce's Because I'm a Tech campaign is happening now! Hear technicians' stories and the personal and professional accomplishments they've achieved thanks to being a tech. We also invite anyone interested in a technician career to turbocharge their future with TechForce by visiting TechForce.org/Tech



Don't miss out on free events in TechForce! Join our social network for tickets to behind-the-scenes VIP experiences, races, car shows and more. Get started>>

AAPEX Student Sponsorship Program

Attend AAPEX in Las Vegas for free this fall

Students can attend AAPEX 2022 in Las Vegas, NV through the event's Student Sponsorship Program. The program covers the cost of attendance and travel to one of the aftermarket industry's biggest events of the year. The application deadline is August 31. Apply for a chance to attend AAPEX for free.


I'Rule wins first Humble Mechanic scholarship

TechForce worked with The Humble Mechanic to establish two scholarships in his name. This past weekend The Humble Mechanic met I'Rule, the first recipient of the scholarship. As it turns out, not only are they from the same area, but I'Rule works at the same dealership that The Humble Mechanic used to! Keep an eye out for our interviews with these guys, and learn more about TechForce scholarships>>

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From self-doubt to jet engines: Maria Vianco rocks!

We interviewed Maria for our #WomenTechsRock series, part of TechForce's commitment to help diversify the workforce. We can relate to Maria's struggles with self-doubt, and were inspired by how she overcame it to pursue her passion! If you know another inspiring woman tech we should interview, let us know at TechForce.org/WomenTechStories

Ford scholarships are now open to more students than ever

Students in Ford training programs across the US are encouraged to apply for TechForce scholarships. New guidelines mean more Ford students are eligible to receive an award than ever before. Even if you have been turned down in the past, it is worth the few minutes it takes to apply. Just take it from Ford tech and TechForce scholarship recipient Tandon Brown!


Scholarships awarded to two women with a passion for NASCAR

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TechForce has awarded the Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarship to Kiree (left) and Savannah (right), two students studying to pursue careers as NASCAR technicians. The scholarship is awarded annually in memory of NASCAR official Brienne Davis.

Read Kiree's and Savannah's full stories then find a scholarship of your own on TechForce.org

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Climb the TechForce leaderboard to win big with Harbor Freight

Harbor Freight and TechForce have teamed up to bring you a new Leaderboard Challenge in the TechForce network. From September 1 to November 1 the top student, instructor, and school that earn the most points in the TechForce network will receive Harbor Freight gift cards! Can you make it to the top of the leaderboard? Join TechForce now to start earning points on September 1. 

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Donate to help students start the school year strong

As students head back to school some are on less stable footing than others. TechForce scholarships and grants help students overcome unexpected expenses that might otherwise derail their education. Donate to help a tech student stay in school today.

TechForce students attend Formula Drift event

Students in TechForce's social network were treated to a student experience at the Formula Drift event in Monroe, WA. Students attended the race, got behind-the-scenes tours and even had Q&As with racing professionals. A big thank you to our partner Throdle and Acceler8 Automotive Program for making the event possible! Find your own event tickets in TechForce>>

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Join the great organizations below in supporting TechForce. Donate now>>


Thank you to TechForce Foundation's top-tier corporate partners and celebrity ambassadors!

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For TechForce news, follow us on social media.

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Meet the Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarship recipients, two future NASCAR technicians

Meet the Fall 2022 Recipients of the Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarship

TechForce Foundation has awarded the Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarship to Kiree and Savannah, two students studying to pursue careers as NASCAR technicians. The scholarship is awarded annually in memory of NASCAR official Brienne Davis.

TechForce had an opportunity to speak with both women, and learn more about their interest in automotive and motorsports, and their plans for a career in NASCAR.

Kiree is breaking barriers as a NASCAR student

Kiree says, “Growing up I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be until high school. I always wanted to be challenged and the automotive field allows me to learn something new every day. I am willing to put everything into learning more about every car field, especially NASCAR.”

Kiree Gonzales at her high school graduation

She recognizes that as a woman, she will be a minority in the automotive field, and even more so in NASCAR. She says, “The automotive industry also lacks females and I believe that women have a big part in this world, but are hardly ever seen.”  She has experienced the difficulty of being a woman in the automotive field firsthand, as an employee of an automotive shop. She says, “It wasn’t the best because I was pushed and I was misjudged. Not many people were willing to let me do much because I am female. However, most of the time I would hide in the background, and as soon as they left I would work on my car and they would not suspect anything once they received it.” Kiree did eventually leave this place of employment, partially because she felt she was underestimated due to her gender. However, this has definitely not dissuaded her from trying to pursue an automotive career!

As a future female technician, Kiree was ecstatic to receive the NASCAR/Brienne Davis Memorial Tuition Scholarship. Kiree shares, “I would love to inspire other women and little girls to do whatever they want and let them know that anything is possible.” 

The scholarship will make it possible for Kiree to finish her education, and then start her career as both a technician and a mentor to young women interested in the field.

Savannah has a passion for motorsports

Savannah Seely looking over the top of race car.

Savannah says, “My passion is Automotive Engineering, specifically a NASCAR career. I’ve chosen this as my dream career for many reasons… the work we put into the race car so it can travel at high speeds bring happiness and the feeling of accomplishment that I have never gotten from anything else…. It is a science to work on these cars. The more I work on them, the more I learn and understand. I love getting into the grit of things, figuring out the problem, and working with my body to achieve what the project needs… [and] I love a challenge! I am passionate about the career I chose to pursue, as it is what I love.”

Savannah continues, “I am specifically interested in NASCAR because it is a very important part of my life. I grew up with it, would watch it with my dad, and I help work on his race car with him two times a week and we race on Saturdays. When we race, I am a part of my dad’s pit-crew. I change tires, and adjust camber, tow, wedge, temperature and pressure of tires after a practice or race. I thoroughly enjoy this work.  Adjusting the cars’ travel so that we can turn left for an hour. There are so many things that go into building a race car and every part of it makes me feel like I can do anything. I want to be able to race my own car one day, that is my goal. Yes, NASCAR is turning left for hours on end. That’s what the world sees. Unless you are a part of it, you wouldn’t understand the mechanics that go into it. Knowing everything the car needs. When things go wrong, knowing what to do. I love the technical pieces, the speed, the adrenaline rush and the emotions it makes me feel when I am out there working on the car. To say I love NASCAR is an understatement.”

Savannah is obviously passionate about NASCAR, and she is so thankful to be a recipient of the NASCAR/Brienne Davis Memorial Tutorial Scholarship. She is beyond grateful that the scholarship will enable her to continue to pursue her life’s passion!

Apply for TechForce Scholarships

Pay for school with scholarships, not loans. TechForce scholarships & grants cover more than just tuition. Whether you need help with the cost of tools, books, transportation, or even emergencies, TechForce can help. Learn more at TechForce.org/Scholarships


TechForce Launches Campaign Promoting Skilled Trade Careers “Because I’m A Tech” 

TechForce Launches Campaign Promoting
Skilled Trade Careers “Because I’m A Tech”

Campaign Inspires Interest in Technician Careers, Provides Unique Resource to Turbocharge Futures with TechForce - The First and Only Social Network Dedicated to Future and Working Techs

August 24, 2022 – SCOTTSDALE, AZ – TechForce Foundation®, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has launched its “Because I’m a Tech” campaign. Timed to align with Labor Day, the campaign celebrates skilled trades and promotes this career path. “Because I’m a Tech” shares technicians’ testimonials across industry sectors, from auto, diesel and collision repair to aviation, restoration, marine, welding and motorsports, highlighting the fulfilling lifestyles afforded by tech careers. Learn more at TechForce.org/Tech

Once the “Because I’m a Tech” campaign sparks a person’s interest they are encouraged to join TechForce, the first and only gamified social network for aspiring and working technicians. Designed by and for Gen Z, it connects them with a community of peers, employers and schools. The free platform fuels their interest and passion while supporting their career journey with everything from games/prizes, events, schools and scholarships to training, internships and jobs.

“As part of TechForce’s workforce development initiative to Power the Technician WorkforceTM, ‘Because I’m a Tech’ showcases the attractive lifestyle and secure economic potential of this profession. These careers are no longer ‘blue collar,’ but ‘new collar’, high tech and in high demand,” says TechForce CEO Jennifer Maher. “Thousands of technician students, working techs and educators are already taking full advantage of the fun and free resources available in the TechForce career network because it offers what they need to turbocharge their futures.”

Some of the companies participating in this campaign by showcasing technicians and their passion for this profession include Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Pennzoil, Penske Truck Leasing, and WD-40 Company, as well as TechForce Celebrity Ambassadors Bogi Lateiner, Julia Landauer and The Humble Mechanic.

More than 30% of the people active in TechForce are women which is a big deal when we consider that less than 3% of working techs are women. Participants earn points and prizes by accessing training, games, events and more. Students and educators from two schools NASCAR Tech and EVIT have already earned over a million points each.

This year alone TechForce participants have been hosted at major racing events and exclusive VIP experiences, been awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants and earned prizes including tools, training and gift cards from TechForce partners.

About TechForce Foundation

TechForce Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) with the mission to champion all students to and through their education and into careers as professional technicians. TechForce powers the technician workforce by awarding more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants annually to financially-disadvantaged students; changes perceptions towards this evolving, ‘new collar’ STEM career; and provides local career exploration and workforce development programming. TechForce’s online, social network of students, working technicians, instructors, employers, industry professionals and enthusiasts committed to championing the technician workforce is the conduit through which the charity delivers its free resources, programs and career hub for the benefit of aspiring technicians. For more information, visit techforce.org. Follow us on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.


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