UTI Supports TechForce Expansion to Reach More Students In Need

Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (UTI) has been a faithful friend to TechForce Foundation (formerly known as the Universal Technical Institute Foundation) since the very beginning more than ten years ago, consistently providing support through donations and aid to ensure TechForce’s mission (to champion students to and through their technical education and into careers as professional technicians in the transportation industry) remains a reality. Not only has UTI persisted as a reliable and passionate ally in raising up the next generation of technicians, it has also served as a springboard for the expansion of the Foundation, playing an integral role in empowering TechForce to partner with a diversity of corporations, institutions, and associations.

UTI has led the pack consistently since 2007 as the Foundation’s largest single donor, donating over $1 million to TechForce in 2016. UTI also supports TechForce and its mission through its annual employee-giving campaign, Care2Share. Care2Share invites employers, employees, and customers to support the technicians of tomorrow through donations to its Life Happens Emergency Relief fund that helps students stay in school when a sudden financial emergency strikes. This year alone, UTI employees contributed $55,000 to aiding tech students in achieving the education and careers of their dreams. In addition to its monetary support, UTI provides donated office space for TechForce, allowing funds to be freed up and used for impacting the lives of student techs.

UTI’s commitment to bettering the lives of future technicians has endured through much change and growth as TechForce rebranded from UTI Foundation to TechForce Foundation last year, and continues to expand both its circle of donors and partners, and its mission.

The Foundation has been gearing up to launch its FutureTech SuccessSM campaign, purposed with driving the pipeline of future technicians through informing and inspiring young people and their parents and influencers, and connecting them with the expansive range opportunities available in the world of automotive tech. “To be effective in this endeavour, the Foundation needs to be unbiased, a sort of Switzerland among corporate donors, constantly clear that our shared mission is to inspire, support, and connect students to education and careers in the transportation industry,” notes Kim McWaters, Chairman and CEO of UTI.

UTI has signed on as one of seven major early sponsors of this initiative, in addition to supporting scholarships and grants for current students facing financial hardships. As TechForce seeks to build new connections with partners and sponsors to support the expansion of its mission, the Foundation can rest assured knowing it has a stable groundwork built on its relationships with longstanding partners like UTI.

“Change is hard, but it’s worth it,” further explains McWaters. “The struggle to recruit trained techs has risen to a critical level in every corner of the transportation services industry, and it will only get worse. Something needs to be done. An industry-wide effort is required, and the Foundation is the right leader for the job.”

Todd Armstrong, Vice President for National Partnerships at TechForce Foundation, recalls that John White, former CEO of UTI, was the first person to really urge TechForce’s Board of Directors to expand their thinking and focus heavily on bringing more technicians into the industry. “It would be good for UTI, it would be good for all the other automotive training schools or companies in the country, and ultimately good for the industry,” Armstrong explains of White’s vision for the Foundation’s expansion. “To put it another way: a rising tide lifts all boats.”

UTI recognizes this growth as a way to come alongside TechForce and impact the education, careers, and futures of exponentially more individuals. They truly care about both the individual technician and the future of the industry as a whole and, as such, have encouraged TechForce’s growth and new partnerships as a way to provide even more aid to tech students and fuel the highly-skilled workforce necessary to keep up with the rapidly expanding and incredibly advanced world of transportation tech.

“UTI has been such a great help to TechForce through its continued support during this transition. They helped create and foster the Foundation in the early days, and now that we are ready to spread our wings and function on a larger, more inclusive scale, they’ve committed to walking alongside us as we work to reach our full potential,” explains Jennifer Maher, CEO of TechForce Foundation. UTI’s enduring partnership through this transition has helped the Foundation as it expands and explores a variety of options that will allow both TechForce and UTI to better aid future technicians and ultimately revolutionize the industry.

As TechForce Foundation seeks to connect with every facet of the transportation industry, it recognizes the mighty role UTI has played in promoting the expansion of the Foundation’s mission. A bright future awaits both the field of transportation tech in its entirety and the techs in training today who will serve as the foundation for the rapid expansion and innovation propelling the industry forward. Together, UTI and TechForce seek to ensure that forward motion not only persists, but grows exponentially when fueled by the highly-skilled and passionate transportation techs in training today.


TechForce Foundation is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit that encourages and supports students pursuing post-secondary technical education and careers in the transportation industry. The Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants annually, thanks to its generous corporate sponsors and donors. For more information visit
www. techforce.org

Universal Technical Institute, Inc. is the leading provider of post-secondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. UTI offers undergraduate degree and diploma programs at 12 campuses across the United States, as well as manufacturer-specific training programs at dedicated training centers through several well-known brands, including Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Motorcycle Mechanics Institute and Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) and NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech).

TechForce Teams Up With Arizona Science Center to Create a New Kind of Challenge

TechForce Foundation has partnered with the Arizona Science Center to dream up the CREATE U: TechForce Foundation Transportation Challenge. The world of automotive transportation tech isn’t just junkyards, gears, and grease anymore. The industry is made up of a multitude of shiny, new parts that are constantly in motion. There’s never a dull moment, and this pilot program aims to prove just that.

The CREATE U: TechForce Foundation Transportation Challenge will bring together the resources, experiences, and missions from TechForce and the Arizona Science Center to provide young people with all the necessary tools to apply STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills to real-life scenarios related to the exciting and innovative world of transportation tech. This isn’t just tinkering around in an old garage, this is high-tech, cutting edge innovation.

The Arizona Science Center’s CREATE space combines art, innovation, community, and productivity into one spot where people of all ages can come together to create using cutting edge tools and technology (see what the CREATE space looks like by viewing this video). The CREATE space has been used for numerous CREATE Challenges designed to make learning a hands-on, fun experience, but TechForce and the Arizona Science Center are teaming up to construct a whole new kind of challenge.

This challenge seeks to ignite the passion for transportation tech in individuals who are hands-on, tactile learners and problem solvers with an interest in the industry. Projects will be tailored toward individuals who are mechanically minded, always tinkering with things or tearing things apart and putting them back together, and who may not enjoy traditional schooling or simply can’t sit still in class. If that sounds like you, you are exactly the candidate this challenge was made for.

“We are so excited to help get young people involved with the world of transportation tech in a very hands-on way, because these are individuals who learn by doing,” explains Jennifer Maher, CEO of TechForce Foundation. What makes the transportation industry the perfect fit for tactile-learners is its dynamic, active environment. TechForce and the Arizona Science Center want to open these students’ eyes to an exciting future and connect them with the careers they might not even know are perfect for them.

The Transportation Challenge program is currently under development by a national committee of automotive curriculum designers sponsored by ATMC (Automotive Training Managers Council). Two of these 12-week programs are slated to run over the 2017-18 school year. The first will take place this fall (September-December) and the second in the spring (January-April). Twenty 7th to 9th grade students from either Estrella Middle School or Trevor Browne High School will be selected to participate in each cycle. Teachers, counselors, parents, and students themselves are encouraged to nominate individuals they feel would both enjoy and thrive in a program such as the CREATE U: TechForce Foundation Transportation Challenge.

Applications for the fall cycle will be accepted through August 15th.

As Techs Gray, Fresh Faces Needed

As Techs Gray, Fresh Faces Needed

“It was a report on the 2016 Automotive Training Managers Council (ATMC) Conference where the latest discussion concerns how we as an industry can influence young people to come into the automotive field”…….

Download and read the full article at Techs Gray, Fresh Faces Needed

Original article written by Gary Stramberger

For the 2017 Automotive Aftermarket Forecast

The Technician Roadtrip Begins

The Technician Roadtrip Begins

(Scottsdale, Arizona) – April 17, 2017 TechForce Foundation and Universal Technical Institute, Inc. are proud to announce the launch of our Technicians’ Roadtrip, which launched on Sunday, April 16, 2017. You can follow the roadtrip at roadtripnation.com, meet the technician “roadtrippers,” and follow their journey.

The actual roadtrip and filming is happening now, and throughout this summer, the footage will be produced for the final PBS show, as well as high school and FutureTech Success microsite content which will be unveiled early Fall.

The three roadtrippers are: Dylan, a current student at NASCAR Tech in Mooresville, North Carolina; Michael, a future student who will be attending the UTI-Sacramento campus in California and Alexandra, who will be attending this UTI-Dallas campus this year.


Michael , Age 18  automotive | technician | roadtrip nation

From Clatskanie, OR

Michael was six years old when his dad finished his passion project: outfitting his 1988 Dodge Ramcharger with a 440 engine he’d built. Even at that young age, the feeling of looking in the rearview mirror and seeing burnout smoke made its impression—it transformed Michael into a gearhead for life. But growing up in a small town with a population of just 1,700 people, Michael has struggled to find a community of fellow car-lovers. That’s why whenever he gets the chance, he heads to Portland, where he’s active in the city’s autocross scene. About to graduate from high school, and heading to school at UTI’s Sacramento campus in the fall, Michael is excited to finally be surrounded by peers who share his passions. But first, he’s ready to hit the road and see the opportunities that exist for technicians nationwide.

Alexandra , Age 18  automotive | technician | roadtrip nation

From Marysville, WA

Alexandra has loved vehicles her whole life: growing up, her summer vacations revolved around taking off-road adventures on her family’s Jeeps and quads. But it wasn’t until she took a small engine repair class in high school that she realized she could get serious about a career as a technician. While she waits to start her technical training, she’s working at her dad’s accounting firm, where she often faces pressure to follow in his footsteps. But whenever she’s stuck sitting in the office, she’s dreaming about when she can next visit the local speedway, or take her Honda 300ex ATV out for a spin. Entering a male-dominated field, she knows she faces some rough terrain ahead; she hopes this trip will introduce her to trailblazing women who can give her the reassurance she needs to continue down her path. Alexandra starts at UTI’s Dallas campus in the fall.

Dylan, Age 19 automotive | technician | roadtrip nation

From Huntersville, NC

Both his father and grandfather work as mechanics, so it’s no stretch to say that working on cars is in Dylan’s blood. But while his mentors were able to enter the field without degrees, Dylan knows that the industry has since become highly technical and crazy competitive—which is why he was the first in his family to leave Wyoming and pursue a higher education. Currently studying at the NASCAR Technical Institute—inspired by childhood memories of watching races with his father—Dylan is almost finished with his technician training, but he’s unsure of where his road will go next. His dream is to use his specialty in interiors and engines to “restore old cars and give them the life that they deserve,” but first, he needs to see all the ways in which he can turn that vision into a reality.

We will continue to keep you posted along the way, and stay tuned for more information on what to expect in the fall, including screening events at our campuses and airings of our Tech Roadtrip episode on PBS.

Many thanks to TechForce Foundation supporter, Shell Lubricants: featuring Pennzoil and Rotella for providing funding so that TechForce Foundation can be a proud sponsor of this fabulous journey!

For more information, contact Jennifer Maher, TechForce Foundation, jmaher@techforce.org or Jody Kent, Universal Technical Institute, jkent@uti.edu.



NASCAR Tech Student Madison Conrad Revs Up For Her New Career


Maison Conrad | NASCAR Student | TechForce Foundation | FutureTech Success
Photo by Joe Habina

The 2017 NASCAR season begins soon and so will the racing career for one of NASCAR Technical Institute’s finest students.

Madison Conrad, a 19-year-old Mooresville resident, will be completing the Auto/NASCAR/Pit Crew program at the Mooresville-based institution and moving on to a full-time job at Roush Yates Engines.

Madison Conrad aspires to be a trackside engine tuner at Roush Yates Engines. 

Conrad, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has made the most of her experience at NASCAR Tech, one of 12 campuses nationwide operated by Universal Technical Institute. Her academic achievement has been decorated with numerous school-issued awards and she has served as the campus’s Student Council president.

Conrad recently received the Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award by the Technical Foundation. The annual prize of $8,500 is awarded to one UTI student who completes 52 weeks of core curriculum and stands out academically and serves as a good role model and teammate to her fellow classmates.

“It’s by far the most prestigious award offered by this campus and UTI,” said Conrad, who will apply the cash award to student loan payments. “So it’s a true honor to be selected out of 13,000 students.”

At Roush Yates Engines, where Conrad served as an intern for six months, she aspires to be a trackside engine tuner, a goal she anticipates taking several years to achieve. Conrad says her path will likely start with tearing down and assembling engines. Ultimately, she would like to be a race team car chief or crew chief.

It is a career Conrad seemingly was born to pursue.

Her father and grandfather dabbled in racing in New Mexico and the elementary school-aged Conrad often followed them to the dirt and asphalt tracks, helping them in the garages and pits by handing them tools and scraping the mud off wheels. By the age of 14, she was the one behind the steering wheel.

Over four years, Conrad raced Street Stock, modified, and Legends cars “all over the West Coast” she says, adding that she took home rookie of the year and points championship trophies at different times in her divisions.

As a student at Albuquerque’s Eldorado High School, Conrad was inspired by the automotive classes she took. She says it was “a dream come true” that a UTI recruiter once visited her school and told her about the institute’s programs.

The closest UTI campus was in Phoenix, Ariz., but it did not offer the program that interested Conrad. She wanted to pursue a career in NASCAR.

Five months after graduating high school in 2015, Conrad’s parents, Steve and Michelle Conrad, helped her move to Mooresville. It was 1,700 miles from her home, nearly the equivalent of driving three Coca Cola 600s.

Conrad enrolled at NASCAR Tech, a 146,000-square-foot building with about 900 students. NIT offers a wide array of automotive programs but Conrad chose to concentrate on its NASCAR elective curriculum.

“Leaving home definitely wasn’t easy,” said Conrad. “It was a 1,700-mile move, but I always knew to make it big in this industry you have to make big moves so that was my biggest motivator. It was something I was really passionate about. It was never a question of whether I wanted to do it, it was just a matter of how and when.”

Over the last 15 months, Conrad took classes on engines and pit stops, impressing her teachers, including pit stop instructor Craig Hibdon, with her knowledge, ambition and her positive attitude.

“As we went through each step of the pit stop process,” said Hibson, a Huntersville resident. “… she’s changing tires, she’s hubbing tires, which is a pretty tough job to do. And then she gets on the jack and she’s jacking a car up.

“As we’re getting started with getting our pit stops done, later in the course, she’s rotating in just like one of the guys. And that’s really who she is, just one of the guys. You couldn’t ask for a better student.”

Original article published by Charlotte Observer


Joe Habina is a freelance writer: joehabina@yahoo.com.