2022 Techs Rock Awards Grand Prize Winner Announcement

TechForce Foundation® Announces Grand Prize Winner
In 4th Annual Techs Rock AwardsTM

Auto Technician Daniel McCrum of Gulfport, MS Named Grand Prize Winner; Five Professional Technicians Honored for Passion and Commitment to Career


December 6, 2022 — PHOENIX — TechForce Foundation® announces automotive technician Daniel McCrum of CarMax in Gulfport, MS as the 2022 Techs Rock Awards Grand Prize Winner. TechForce created this prestigious award in 2018 to honor professional technicians who mentor and inspire the next generation of techs, bring excellence to their workplaces and communities, and demonstrate passion and commitment to the profession. Meet the full slate of honorees including Category and Grand Prize Winners at TechForce.org/TechsRock.

“What!? Wow… I’m in, like, shock right now. Thank you!” Daniel exclaimed upon learning of his Award. “I kinda thought I had a pretty fair chance to win something because of everything I overcame, but I didn’t think I could win the whole thing. This is a national contest… it’s nationwide wide and I won!”

Not every student needs to go to a 4-year university. TechForce created the Techs Rock Awards to highlight the contributions of technicians in their workplaces and communities and demonstrate to the public that a technical education and career is a viable pathway to success. The Awards showcase the benefits of an in-demand technician career to spark students’ interest, and the TechForce Network meets those students where they are with the resources needed to explore and pursue a technical education and career.

Thousands of TechForce followers weighed in to select Daniel as the Grand Prize Winner from among five Category Winners in the November 28 – December 2, 2022 People’s Choice public vote. Daniel previously won the Awards’ Barrier Buster Category.

As the Grand Prize Winner Daniel will receive more than $10,000 in total prizes from TechForce and our industry partners. Prize sponsors include Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Caliber, Cengage Learning, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Snap-on Industrial and WD-40 Company.

Since 2018 technicians have received more than $27,000 in prizes. Over $17,500 in prizes are being awarded in the 2022 Techs Rock Awards alone, including:

  • Each Category Winner (Grand Prize Winner included) received tools, gift cards and other prizes valued at over $1,700.
  • The Grand Prize Winner also receives an all-expenses-paid trip to STX 2024 in Orlando, FL valued at $3,000 courtesy of Advance Auto Parts, along with an additional prize package valued at over $5,500.

The five Category Winners represent less than one percent of the nearly 700 technicians nominated. Winners were selected by a panel of expert celebrity judges including Emily Reeves, Flying Sparks Garage; Charles Sanville, The Humble Mechanic; Bogi Lateiner, Bogi’s Garage; Pete Meier, Motor Age Magazine; and Julia Landauer, Julia Landauer Racing.

The 2022 Category Winners represent five states and five companies including one independently-owned auto repair shop and one technical school. Each honoree is recognized in one of the Techs Rock Awards’ distinct categories:

  • Barrier Buster – Daniel McCrum, Carmax. The Barrier Buster category recognizes technicians for showing heart and passion in overcoming obstacles to succeed.
  • Die Hard – Joshua Ferrantino, Rodman Ford. The Die Hard category recognizes industry superfans who live, breathe, sleep, and thrive in their career.
  • Outstanding Mentor – Frank Mendoza, Flow Nissan & NASCAR Technical Institute. The Outstanding Mentor category recognizes techs for providing support and guidance to the industry’s future technicians.
  • Pay it Forward – Zachary Carlsen, Northern Auto Repair. The Pay it Forward category recognizes technicians for being a community advocate and inspiring the next generation of techs.
  • Rookie of the Year – Kael Gortat, Carmax. The Rookie of the Year category recognizes up-and-coming tech professionals with under two years’ professional experience.

The Techs Rock Awards are part of TechForce’s workforce development campaign to inspire and support tomorrow’s workforce of technicians. TechForce also created the first and only social network designed and gamified for professional technicians and tech students to connect with each other, employers and schools (TechForce.org). The transportation community is supporting it with content and using it to learn, connect, find events, and explore job opportunities while competing for prizes and leaderboard status.

About TechForce Foundation

TechForce Foundation is a national 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.