Nominations Open in TechForce Foundation®’s 2023 FutureTechs Rock AwardsTM, Ten Students to Receive National Honor
Ten transportation technician students to be recognized nationally for outstanding contributions as role models in school and communities
January 23, 2023 – PHOENIX – TechForce Foundation’s® 5th annual FutureTechs Rock Awards season has begun. TechForce created this prestigious award to honor aspiring technicians and recognize students with a promising future in the transportation industry. The FutureTechs Rock Awards are accepting nominations through 5 PM PT, February 10, 2023. Nominate a technician student today at TechForce.org/FutureTechsRock.
Over $10,000 in scholarships and prizes will be awarded:
Each of the ten (10) Category Winners, as selected by a panel of industry judges, will receive prizes valued at nearly $700 including training materials, supplies and products from TechForce partners including NISSAN, Advance Auto Parts, CRC Industries, Cengage, AutoZone, New Ford Tech, Volvo, WD-40 Company and Snap-on Industrial.
The Grand Prize Winner, as chosen by popular vote, will also receive a $1,000 TechForce scholarship and additional prizes valued over $2,000 from partners including NISSAN, Advance Auto Parts, CRC Industries, Cengage, AutoZone, New Ford Tech, WD-40 Company and Snap-on Industrial.
Students will be considered for one of ten categories depending on their academic focus including Automotive, Aviation, Collision Repair, Diesel On-Road and Off-Road, Marine/Watercraft, Motorcycle/ATV, Motorsports, Restoration and Welding/CNC.
A panel of industry experts will select one winner from each of the ten categories. The Grand Prize Winner will be selected from the slate of Category Winners via a People’s Choice Public Vote, to be held February 27 – March 3, 2023.
Past Grand Prize Winner Zander Worm remarked on how the FutureTechs Rock Awards helped him in his education, “It’s amazing to know that other people have faith in me, that I [have something] to offer to the industry… [The Awards] are helping me start my career… debt free.” Hear Zander’s message and meet last year’s winners.
Since 2019, TechForce Foundation and our partners have awarded 40 transportation technician students with over $47,000 in prizes through the annual FutureTechs Awards. The Awards are made possible because of generous donations from corporations and everyday people who believe everyone should have a chance to succeed.
The FutureTechs 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.
How Technician & Navy Veteran Conor Went Pipeline to Placement and Beyond with TechForce
“Pursuing a technical education has set part of the foundation of my life,” says Conor. “I started working on classic Fords from day one with my family. Later things got difficult and we were very poor. When I was 13, I worked doing oil changes, brakes, and cleaning to help pay the bills. When I was 14, I moved to a dairy farm and it changed my life. I did all sorts of dirty jobs, but my favorite was the shop where we worked on the equipment. I became the neighborhood mechanic.”
Wrenching Through Difficult Times
After high school, Conor joined the Navy where he got to work on airplanes. Unfortunately, his military career took a left turn when he suffered a shattered ankle. “I was put in a limited-duty status that didn’t allow me to do my job, so I turned back to flipping cars to make extra money.”
Now on an honorable medical discharge, and a father of three with a fourth baby on the way, he’s had multiple surgeries including one that resulted in having his ankle fused. “That still didn’t stop me from working on things,” he says. “Mechanics has always provided me with joy and an ability to combat depression. I love turning on music and wrenching on anything. The sense of accomplishment when the job is done makes me feel great.”
Transitioning into the Civilian Workforce with Help from TechForce Donors
In 2021 Conor decided to pursue his passion and started his technical education. He soon after discovered TechForce, joined the Network and received a relocation grant through the Veterans At Work: Military Transition Fund – Sunstate Equipment grant.
Thanks to support from generous donors who believe everyone should have a chance to succeed, Conor was able to move with his family closer to school.
Conor is thriving today
“It’s great that TechForce is bringing awareness to the industry. There are so many other technical options and opportunities for people who aren’t interested in going to a traditional college. TechForce has been really helpful with my education and their Network is an excellent resource with a great community of industry people, tutorial videos, upcoming events, and even fun things like trivia.”
TechForce was able to help connect Conor with Sunstate Equipment, where he was hired as a technician. “I am excited for the chance to work at Sunstate. There are so many opportunities for growth plus, they really appreciate and take care of their employees. I am very thankful to TechForce for helping me land this job.”
Conor recently reflected on his experience with TechForce Foundation, “TechForce is an unbelievable free resource and it has been a big help throughout my entire process from school to career. I will recommend TechForce to other people and I’ll definitely keep using its Network while I finish my education and throughout my career.”
About TechForce Scholarships
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, with more than 40,000 students supported since 2007. All of TechForce’s scholarships and programs are made possible by donors like you.
Learn more and apply for TechForce scholarships and grants at TechForce.org/Scholarships
Automotive Industry Leaders Enterprise and Ford Partner to Expand Collision Engineering Program
Industry Partnership will Address National Collision Technician Shortage and Open the Program’s Seventh U.S. School
ST. LOUIS (Jan. 18, 2023) – Enterprise Holdings, through the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, today announced a strategic partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund to support the growth of the industry-leading Collision Engineering Program (CEP). The new industry partnership will expand the CEP to a new college that will become the seventh school to offer the two-year apprenticeship model, founded by Enterprise Holdings Foundation and Ranken Technical College, to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill essential roles within the collision repair industry.
The Ford Fund will offer scholarships to CEP students to prevent any barriers to students’ academic success. Ford Fund’s support will also fund program startup costs, instructor training and school equipment such as lab materials, and provide students access to toolkits, uniforms, PPE, certifications, tuition assistance, assessments and other student-centered resources at the new school.
“This is an exciting time to support students pursuing careers in collision engineering,” said Mike Schmidt, economic mobility director at Ford Motor Company Fund. “As the auto industry is rapidly evolving, the need for bright minds who are passionate about technical careers becomes greater every day. Partnerships like these allow us to drive progress more quickly, and with a greater impact, for the next generation of engineers.”
With more than 110,000 new collision technicians needed between 2022 and 2026, according to the TechForce Foundation, a national public charity, the CEP is designed in collaboration with the automotive industry and encourages schools and industry leaders to work together to build a new generation of highly skilled, motivated and passionate collision repair professionals. Throughout the Program, students learn in both classrooms and modern collision engineering facilities where industry experts provide real-world education as students work toward earning their associate degree.
“Widespread industry support is vital to addressing the worker shortage and skills gap, and to ensuring the success of the Collision Engineering Program,” said Mary Mahoney, vice president at Enterprise Holdings. “As a leader in the automotive industry, we’re committed to addressing these challenges with our partners. We could not be more thrilled to expand our longtime partnership with Ford Motor Company, through its philanthropic arm, the Ford Fund, to increase access to the Program and help address this ongoing industry challenge.”
The CEP is also partnering with the TechForce Foundation to help administer the Ford Fund scholarships for students enrolled in the Program.
“This collaboration enables even more students who are passionate about the collision engineering field to pursue their dreams,” said Jennifer Maher, executive director of TechForce Foundation. “Cars today are computers on wheels, and the technology is advancing rapidly. It takes a highly skilled technician — an engineer — who can properly service the paint and body, calibration and mechanics required to ensure the repair and safety of the vehicle. TechForce is honored to partner with CEP and Ford Fund to administer the Ford Fund scholarships.”
The Program is currently active at six schools across the U.S. including Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, Missouri; College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois; Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California; Collin College in Allen, Texas; Texas State Technical College in Waco, Texas; and Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. The seventh school that will be opened through the Ford Fund’s support will be announced in the coming months.
For more information about the Collision Engineering Program, visit www.beacollisionengineer.com.
About Enterprise Holdings
Enterprise Holdings, Inc. is a leading provider of mobility solutions, owning and operating the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands through its integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries. Enterprise Holdings and its affiliates offer extensive car rental, carsharing, truck rental, fleet management, retail car sales, as well as travel management and other transportation services, to make travel easier and more convenient for customers. Privately held by the Taylor family of St. Louis, Mo., Enterprise Holdings manages a diverse fleet of more than 2.1 million vehicles through a network of nearly 10,000 fully staffed neighborhood and airport rental locations in more than 90 countries and territories.
About Ford Motor Company Fund
As the automaker’s philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund has been supporting local communities for more than 70 years. Working with nonprofit organizations, community partners, and across the Ford network in the U.S. and in 43 countries, Ford Fund provides resources and opportunities that advance racial equity and empower people to reach their highest potential. Since 1949, Ford and Ford Fund have invested more than $2.2 billion in initiatives that ensure basic needs are met, provide access to essential services, offer tools to build new skillsets, and open pathways to high-quality jobs.
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 and LinkedIn.
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