Under The Hood Newsletter | May 2023

The official newsletter of TechForce Foundation® , made possible by donors like you who believe students should find an education and career that fits.

MAY 2023


Short on time? Here are three quick ways to connect now:

  • Nominate a technician for the 2023 Techs Rock Awards by today.
  • Join TechForce to access scholarships, events, training, and more resources for free. Invite your friends to join with you, too!
  • Donate. Help us champion technical education and careers so that communities thrive.

Top Stories

Techs Rock Awards nominations end Friday, May 26

FTR 23_Full Logo_Blue Text (1)Nominate a professional technician for the 2023 Techs Rock Awards! Tell us about your colleagues, mentors, friends, and even yourself for a chance to win national recognition and a share of $18,500 in prizes at TechForce.org/TechsRock

Austin_Scholarship Recipient_May 2023 newsletter-1TechForce scholarship brings Austin’s technician dreams closer than ever

Austin has always been hands-on. “In high school, I found a group of friends that enjoyed cars… I even got to the point where my parents let me [work on theirs].” Thanks to a TechForce scholarship, Austin is now studying advanced technical training. “I can’t wait for the future to come!” Read Austin’s full interview here>>

Your support can decide a student’s future. Donate now!

Four technician students wearing their school uniform smile at the camera.

Did you know an emergency expense as low as $450 can derail a student’s education? That’s why TechForce works directly with schools to provide emergency “Life Happens” grants when students need them most. Your support makes our mission possible. Donate to keep a student in school.


Scholarships & Grants

Get your TechForce scholarship today. Scholarships and grants are awarded monthly in the TechForce scholarship portal.We help with the cost of school so you can start your career strong

TechForce is awarding $2.3 million in scholarships & grants in 2023 to help technician students cover the cost of attendance, emergencies, and more. Sign in & submit your general application! 

Awards are made each month. Current opportunities include:

  • Ford Fund Auto Tech Scholarship ($5,000 ea /$2,500 per semester)
  • Accelerate! Tuition Scholarships ($1,000 – $2,500)
  • “Life Happens” Emergency Relief Grants ($400 – $1200)
  • Driven to Care John F. Weinberger Legacy Scholarship (up to $6,000)


AAPEX TechForce Foundation 221031-212-2-1TechForce has your summer events

Summer is nearly here! Sign in to TechForce to view our full calendar of upcoming events near you. New events are added each week.


Students and instructors can request free tickets for these events in our current ticket giveaways:

  • Ridge SpeedTour | June 10 in Shelton, WA
  • Acceler8 at Formula Drift | June 23 in Englishtown, NJ
  • Mecum Kissimmee | July 6 in Kissimmee, FL
  • Portland SpeedTour | July 22 in Portland, OR
  • Mecum Harrisburg | July 27 in Harrisburg, PA
  • Acceler8 at Formula Drift | August 11 in Monroe, WA

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Austin’s technician dream is closer than ever thanks to TechForce scholarships

TechForce scholarship brings Austin's technician dreams closer than ever

by TechForce Staff

Meet Austin, a TechForce scholarship recipient studying to become an automotive technician in the United States.

Our staff had an opportunity to hear from Austin the role his parents, peers and mentors played in his decision to become a technician, and his plans for a career in the future of mobility.

Scholarship recipient Austin wears a grey hoodie with a sports car printed on the front.

Discovering a Passion for Automotive

Austin always had a knack for getting hands-on. “Growing up I always enjoyed doing things hands-on. Any sport I played I would pick up very quickly. When I got to high school, I found a group of friends that enjoyed cars like I did. I would always help them do work on cars, like modifying suspensions or just doing just basic oil changes. That is when I knew that this was the type of work I had been looking for.”

Developing Skills and Confidence to Apply Them

“[Once I got] my own car, I was always tinkering with things and looking for ways to… make it how I wanted it. I had even gotten to the point where my parents felt confident enough to let me do small things to their cars like changing the brake pads,” said Austin.

“It was such a great feeling to know that I could do something with the skills I learned… I also helped my girlfriend’s family with one of their cars. It had sat unused for several years and I wanted to bring it back to life… it was definitely a steep challenge. Eventually, I figured out what needed to be done. I put the car back together and it started perfectly.”

“It took a lot for me to overcome a task that I was unfamiliar with, but I stayed committed and in the end, I figured it out. I have been driving that car around for the past year and it’s a great car – the first project car I brought back to life!”

Mentors Helped Austin Pursue his Passion Professionally

Although Austin had a knack and a love for working under the hood, he didn’t initially consider it as a career. In fact, it was his parents who first suggested that Austin consider working professionally as a technician.

“After working at a few jobs in the restaurant industry, transportation, and tourism, my parents asked, ‘Why don’t you just become a mechanic?’ They could always see how excited I was to work on my car.”

Eventually, it was a mentor who also went to technical school that convinced Austin to do what he loves. “[A] neighbor of mine had previously gone to Technical School. He really enjoyed the program and he seems to be very successful. He basically told me that if this is really my passion, I need to go for it because he could tell that I will really enjoy this kind of work too. I decided to attend Technical School, and I can’t wait for the future to come!”

Mentors Helped Austin Pursue his Passion Professionally

Austin is excited to have received a TechForce Foundation Tuition Scholarship, and he’s thrilled to be beginning an advanced training program. Technician training is an expensive undertaking, and Austin is grateful to have received the financial assistance will make it easier to achieve his goals!

As for his plans after school? “Once I finish school I can progress, get my ASE certifications and become a journeyman technician.”

About TechForce Scholarships

A TechForce scholarship (or cash grant) is a financial award to aid students in paying for the cost of their technical education. It does not require repayment. TechForce scholarships are privately funded by our partners, meaning the funds come from corporate and individual donors – not the government. It’s expected our scholarships are added to any other financial support you receive.

TechForce Foundation will award over $2.3 Million in 2023 to students in transportation technician programs around the country. Eligible technician programs include automotive, aviation, collision repair, diesel on- & off-road, motorcycle, marine & watercraft, restoration, welding, CNC and more!

Find a scholarship and apply today at TechForce.org/Scholarships


Nominations Open Monday, May 15, for TechForce’s 2023 Techs Rock Awards

Nominations Open Monday, May 15, for TechForce’s 2023 Techs Rock AwardsTM

Five professional transportation/mobility technicians to be recognized nationally for outstanding contributions as role models in their shops and communities

May 11, 2023 – PHOENIX – TechForce Foundation’s 5th annual Techs Rock Awards season begins Monday, May 15, 2023. TechForce created these prestigious awards to honor professional technicians who are full of passion and grit, exhibit true excellence in their work and inspire the next generation of techs. The Techs Rock Awards will accept nominations May 15 through May 26, 2023, at TechForce.org/TechsRock.

More than $18,500 in prizes will be awarded:

  • Each of the five Category Winners, as selected by a panel of industry celebrity judges, will receive prizes valued at over $1,900, including gift cards, tools, merch and more from TechForce partners Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Cengage Learning, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Nissan, Snap-on Industrial and WD-40 Company.

  • One Grand Prize Winner, chosen by popular vote, will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to STX 2024 in Nashville, Tenn., valued at $3,000, courtesy of Advance Auto Parts, and additional prizes valued at $6,000 from AutoZone, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Nissan, Snap-on Industrial and WD-40 Company.

Technicians will be considered for one of five categories, including Pay it Forward, Rookie of the Year, Die Hard Tech, Outstanding Mentor, and Barrier Buster. A panel of industry celebrity judges will select one winner from each of the five categories. The Grand Prize Winner will be selected from the slate of Category Winners via a People’s Choice Public Vote to be held June 12 through 16, 2023.

2023 Techs Rock Award judges include Bogi Lateiner, Bogi’s Garage; Harrison Burton, Wood Brothers Racing; Emily Reeves, Flying Sparks Garage; Pete Meier, Motor Age Magazine; and Camrie Caruso, Camrie Caruso Motorsports.

2022 Grand Prize Winner and CarMax technician Daniel McCrum was ecstatic about the recognition he received from winning. “I kinda thought I had a pretty fair chance to win something…but I didn’t think I could win the whole thing,” he said. “This is a national contest…it’s nationwide and I won!” McCrum will join this year’s Grand Prize Winner at STX 2024 in Nashville for the bi-annual event.

Since 2018 the Techs Rock Awards have awarded more than $46,000 in prizes to 20 professional technicians in recognition of their excellence, passion and commitment to driving the future of the mobility industry. Technicians will shape our future, and the Techs Rock Awards are made possible by TechForce donors who help shape theirs. In addition to prizes, Nissan is also co-sponsoring the 2023 Techs Rock Awards to help TechForce celebrate all technicians’ contributions throughout the country and the industry.

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 $2.3 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 TikTokFacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedin 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