Meet Brennen: Army Veteran and TechForce Scholarship Recipient

Meet Brennen, Beneficiary of The John & Bernadette Heenan Veterans at Work Fund

Brennen is an Army veteran who knows how to overcome obstacles while giving back

“Since I was a little girl, I’ve always really enjoyed working with my hands and I knew I wanted to be a technician. I look forward to learning everything I can and being able to move up the ranks of master technician. My ultimate goal is to one day own my own shop and getting certified is going to help tremendously with those plans.”

Photo of Brennan, TechForce scholarship recipient

Overcoming challenges and inspiring others to do the same

Balancing being a single mother, working and going to school can prove to be very challenging. Brennen says, “I’m always feeling like I have to prove and push myself further than everyone else because I am a female in a male dominated industry.”
“I’d like to change the way women feel about having a career in the industry and make it easier for them to pursue their dreams. I am dedicated to reaching my goals. I keep my head up, practice, study and take any experience I can to perfect my craft. Being in school for something I am passionate about has made me more confident and not afraid to work in the industry. I want my daughter to know that she can be anything she wants to be without any fears.”

Finding ways to give back

Brennen understands how important it is to be involved and give back to her community. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season she makes sure to volunteer at a local homeless shelter.

Being a single mom, Brennen cannot live on campus. Paying for rent and school expenses makes it difficult for Brennen to make ends meet.

About the scholarship

The John & Bernadette Heenan Veterans at Work Fund helps make it possible for Brennen to pay for her technical education and living expenses.

For more on how TechForce scholarships and grants support students through their technical education, visit Techforce.org/Scholarships

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Women Techs Rock Grantee Jinelee After Tech Career

Meet Jinelee, Women Techs Rock Grant Recipient

Women Techs Rock grant recipient Jinelee discovered her passion for a tech career during the pandemic, and is already well on her way to achieving her new dream of owning an all-women’s garage!

How Jinelee got interested in a tech career

Jinelee Galindez examining an engine while studying for her tech career.

In the early part of the pandemic Jinelee experienced some medical problems that put her on unpaid leave. During that time, she says, “I just started working on my own truck, fixing and replacing parts. I began to spend my nights watching YouTube videos on random mechanic work, and found myself looking for things I could fix on my truck and what I could do to make it look and run better. Slowly, working on my truck dragged me out of an unhealthy place. Fixing my truck took me to another world where I felt like I was dancing and singing. Everything seemed so positive. Never in my life would have I thought this was something I would like. I had never tried it. But now I feel as if it is my calling… I have found a new skill that I love. Automotive!”

Early signs a tech career was the right fit

Looking back on her life, Jinelee admits there were signs that a technician career was in the cards for her.

“When I think about the things I used to do when I was little or even as an adult, it makes sense. I used to love fixing my bicycle and my friends’ bicycles, rollerblades and skateboards. I loved to put puzzles together and build random things out of anything I could find. As I got older, I still found myself doing similar things, such as building or putting together furniture. Using my hands to repair, build and just get my hands dirty has always been my thing and I NEVER realized it until I started working on my truck.”

Passion powers progress towards tech career

Jinelee says she is amazed how far she has come in such a short time, and she has big dreams for her future.

“I want my own car shop. A very girly shop. I want the equipment to be bright, fun colors, and I want it to have only women mechanics!”

Life's challenges inform Jinelee's perspective

Jinelee has overcome numerous very difficult personal challenges, but despite this, she says, “[My] focus [is] on people’s efforts. I like to make others feel positive, empowered, worthy, appreciated, and supported. I am one that can communicate encouragement to help people move forward but also hold them accountable in a loving way when tough love is needed. It’s important to inspire one another, challenge one another in reaching our full potential and celebrate each other for our successes.”

She is elated to have received the Women Techs Rock grant. Jinelee has worked incredibly hard to discover and be able to pursue her passion for a tech career. She is extremely grateful for this generous gift that will let her follow her passion, and hopefully inspire future women technicians!

If Jinelee’s story inspired you, we invite you to learn more about a technician career at https://techforce.org/our-work/#career-exploration

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

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Under The Hood | November 2021

TOPICS IN UNDER THE HOOD FOR OCTOBER 2021:

Technician Supply & Demand Report | Scholarship – Harbor Freight Tools for Schools | Terry Emig Hero Spirit Award | Driven to Care Legacy Fund | Women Techs Rock – Techs Rock Awards | TechForce Challenge Winner

Technician Supply & Demand Report: Updated for 2021

supply infographic landscape-2TechForce has released its 2021 Transportation Technician Supply & Demand Report, revealing the transportation technician shortage continues to worsen. Demand for technicians nearly doubled in the past year – from 136,503 in 2020 to 258,000 in 2021. Previously, demand outpaced supply by nearly three to one; now it is estimated to be five to one. Learn more. Download the 2021 Technician Supply & Demand Report>>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Auto & Diesel teacher wins big with Harbor Freight Tools for Schools and TechForce

2021-10_Harbor Freight Tools for Schools event-2Congratulations to Salem High School Auto & Diesel Teacher Derek Wray, $100,000 winner in the Automotive Category of the 2021 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence!

TechForce added to Derek’s prize with a $2,500 Accelerate Tuition scholarship to be awarded to a high school senior of his choice. TechForce (center) was on-site with Harbor Freight Tools for Schools (right) at Salem High School to award Derek (left) his prize. Learn more on the 2021 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence>>
 
 
 
 
 

Fall 2021 Terry Emig Hero Spirit Awardee

2021-10_Emig Hero Spirit Award_Brian Tsavolakis-2-2

Congratulations to Brian Tsavolakis, recipient of the Fall 2021 Terry Emig Hero Spirit Award! The Award is granted each year to students who show the same grace and generosity that characterized our friend Terry Emig.

Brian will receive tuition and cash support to help with the cost of his motorcycle technician training. TechForce also congratulates runners-up Jack Boddie and Isaiah Andrews, who will receive cash support for their technical education. Apply for scholarships through TechForce’s social network>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Students participate in Driven to Care VIP experience

IMG_8436 (1)-1John F. Weinberger Driven to Care Legacy Fund (part of the Footprints Foundation) and TechForce teamed up with the Sports Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) to host students for a day at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Students had the opportunity to see race track operations first hand, learn from Tom Lehmukhl and James Lowe, talk with race control, and go on pace laps with Ron Rigdon! Special thanks to SVRA, Circuit of the Americas and Lisa Weinberger for making the event possible. Find upcoming events and apply for scholarships through JoinTechForce.org
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#WomenTechsRock – Techs Rock Grand Prize Winner Melina

2021-10_WTR Melina AlgierGM technician Melina Algier has “dedicated [her]self to proving that women can work in the automotive industry.”

When she received the Techs Rock Awards Grand Prize in 2020 Melina had less than two years of technician experience. Yet, in that short time, she completed over 70 GM-certified courses and even moved up to training her shop’s new students and interns! Be sure to vote for the 2021 Techs Rock Awards Grand Prize Winner starting Monday 11/29>>

 

Meet the first-ever TechForce champion

2021-10_TechForce Champion Jinelee Gonzalez-1Congratulations to UTI Orlando student Jinelee Galindez! She held the highest score after advancing through four weeks of challenges, earning her spot as the first-ever champion of TechForce’s social network along with $150 to Harbor Freight Tools and $150 Visa gift card! A big thank you to Harbor Freight Tools for Schools and Steven DeMarzio for sponsoring the contest. Find more contests here>>


Thank you to all TechForce Foundation partners!

TFF-ALL-Partners-Logo-Lockup-211022Associations: Automotive Communications Council, Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association (AMRA), American Rental Association (ARA), Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Automotive Service Association (ASA), Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), ASE Education Foundation, ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC), Auto Care Association/Women in Auto Care, Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT), Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA), Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR), Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence, National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada (NAACC), National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF), National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), National Center for Autonomous Technology (NCAT), SkillsUSA, STEAM Sports Foundation and American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC)

Celebrities: Charles Sanville (The Humble Mechanic), Lyn St. James (IndyCar), Bogi Lateiner (Girl Gang Garage), Steve Johnson (Steve Johnson Racing – NHRA) and Julia Landauer (Julia Landauer Racing – NASCAR)

For more news on TechForce Foundation, follow us on social media at the links below!

 

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Under The Hood | October 2021

TOPICS IN UNDER THE HOOD FOR OCTOBER 2021:

Techs Rock Awards | Stacey David | Driven To Care | TechForce Training Video | Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award | TechForce Trivia | Women Techs Rock GM Technician

2021 Techs Rock Awards are less than 2 weeks away!

TRA 2021_Awards Full Logo_Dark TextWe’re excited to announce nominations for the 3rd annual Techs Rock Awards will be open from 10/25/2021 to 11/10/21! Help us celebrate the nation’s most accomplished transportation technicians. Submit nominations starting Monday 10/25 at TechForce.org/TechsRock!

Help spread the word in the meantime by sharing the flyers in the “Free Marketing” section of the TechForce I-HUB Resource Portal>>

 
 
 
 
 

TODAY: Learn all about this amazing ride with Stacey David

Mecum walk around_Mercury Cougar_211013Don’t miss today’s exclusive, free online event! Spend some time with the one and only Stacey David, TV Host & Car Builder, as he gives a personal walkaround of his 1967 Mercury Cougar. The event is hosted by Mecum Auction and TechForce Foundation, and will be streamed live from Mecum Chattanooga. Tune in today Thursday, Oct 14 at 6 PM EDT/ 3 PM PDT here>>

Don’t miss a single free, exciting event! Join TechForce’s social network>>
 
 
 
 
 

Students participate in Driven to Care VIP experience at Autobahn

Autobahn event_weinberger ferari-3John F. Weinberger Driven to Care Legacy Fund (part of the Footprints Foundation) and TechForce teamed up to host more than 20 students for a day at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. Students were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility and garages, speakers who shared information on automotive and racing technician careers, and given hot laps around the track. Special thanks to Autobahn, Lisa Weinberger and Continental Motors for making the event possible. Find upcoming events and apply for scholarships through JoinTechForce.org

 
 
 
 
 
 

Brush up with training in TechForce’s social network

hybrid trainingCan you easily explain how an electrical system works? Are you up to date on hybrid engines? Do you know how automated vehicles stay on the road? Stay up to date on advancing vehicle technology with free training from Advance Auto Parts, Cengage, Shell, WD-40, GM and other TechForce partners. Simply join TechForce’s peer network to get started>>
 
 
 
 
 

Marine Corps veteran receives Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award

Luis Menjivar Diaz_1089557-1

Congratulations to the Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award winner, Luis Menjivar Diaz! A United States Marine Corps veteran, Luis has overcome every challenge life has thrown at him, never missing an opportunity to give back along the way. TechForce is proud to help him pursue his dream of becoming a Master Technician.

Learn how TechForce scholarships can help you with your technician training at JoinTechForce.org

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Compete against other TechForce members with trivia & contests

peer network triviaClimb the leaderboard in TechForce’s social network by playing trivia, competing in contests and more! Your point totals will be shown against other users in the network. You could even be named the next TechForce champion! Join the only social network built for aspiring and working techs to get started>>

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

#WomenTechsRock – “Alright let’s get this done”

WTR_TFN_Brooke_Fabian_1600x900_100T_211013

“I’m always learning stuff, it’s exciting… [everyone around me] is very proud of me.” GM technician
Brooke Fabian loves what she does, and knows the power of believing in yourself. Hear Brooke’s story in this week’s #WomenTechsRock interview>>

Would you or a technician you know like to be featured in our #WomenTechsRock interview series? Let us know>>
 
 
 
 
 

TechForce salutes 10 Missions Media on the ADAPT Summit

adapt conference stage-2TechForce recognizes our partner 10 Missions Media for organizing the ADAPT: Automotive Technology Summit (Dec 5-7, 2021) to support independent shops. The Summit is a forum for the automotive aftermarket that gives the resources, knowledge and strategies to overcome the obstacles you’ll face moving forward. Learn more about ADAPT>>

 

Thank you to all TechForce Foundation partners!

TFF-ALL-Partners-Logo-Lockup-210921Associations: Automotive Communications Council, Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association (AMRA), American Rental Association (ARA), Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Automotive Service Association (ASA), Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), ASE Education Foundation, ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC), Auto Care Association/Women in Auto Care, Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT), Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA), Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR), Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence, National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada (NAACC), National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF), National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), National Center for Autonomous Technology (NCAT), SkillsUSA, STEAM Sports Foundation and American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC)

Celebrities: Charles Sanville (The Humble Mechanic), Lyn St. James (IndyCar), Bogi Lateiner (Girl Gang Garage), Steve Johnson (Steve Johnson Racing – NHRA) and Julia Landauer (Julia Landauer Racing – NASCAR)

Under The Hood | September 2021

TOPICS IN UNDER THE HOOD FOR SEPTEMBER 2021:

Because I’m A Tech Stories | Transportation Technician Careers | Nominations For 2021 Techs Rock Awards Open | Women Techs Rock – Josie Whitlock | Shop Owner Luke Walker Pays It Forward | Car Industry Events in TechForce | Technician Scholarship Story From Derrick | Name Of Your Ride Using Song Lyrics

Thank you to all who shared their “Because I’m a Tech…” story

Thank you to all who shared their “Because I’m a Tech…” story2020-08_Ultimate Guide TransTech Careers_Cover image

We asked and you answered! Thank you to every transportation technician who shared what they have been able to accomplish because they’re a tech. TechForce reached tens of millions of Americans with accurate representations of technician careers as the secure, high-tech, “new collar” careers that they are. Help correct misperceptions held by people in your circle by sharing our Ultimate Guide to Transportation Technician Careers>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nominations for the 2021 Techs Rock Awards open next month

TRA 2021_Awards Full Logo_Dark Text

We’re excited to announce nominations for the 3rd annual Techs Rock Awards will be open from 10/25/2021 to 11/10/21! Help us celebrate the nation’s most accomplished transportation technicians. Spread the word to drive nominations by sharing the flyers, ads and other assets in the “FutureTech Success® Free Marketing” section of the TechForce I-HUB Resource Portal>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Women Techs Rock: Josie’s story proves the value of mentorship

WTR_Josie_Whitlock_Square_100T_210914

Meet Josie Whitlock, a technician with Matt’s Automotive Service Center in Fargo, North Dakota. Josie’s time at Matt’s is proof that a shop’s culture starts at the top. The owner makes respect a top priority, even going so far as to refuse customers who don’t want a woman to work on their car! The result? A shop that fully accepts women techs. Read Josie’s full interview to learn more>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

See where TechForce’s Career Hub can take you

Welcome-Career-Hub_LI_1200x675_210720With the Career Hub in TechForce’s network, you can create and manage your resume and find the right job for you! Whether you’re looking to get your start or searching for the next step in your career, you will find what you need with Career Hub in TechForce’s network. Create your free account or log in to get started>>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Part II: Technician and shop owner Luke Walker pays it forward

Luke Walker headshot - Jul2021-2-1TechForce’s blog introduced readers to Luke Walker, an energetic and highly motivated entrepreneur in Columbus, Ohio who built a fledging one-stall independent shop into a well-oiled machine. This month, we continue his incredible story by sharing how Luke is giving back and supporting students in his community>>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

TechForce is the place to find events

Screen Shot 2021-09-15 at 3.14.10 PMAre you looking for something to do? Check out the events tab in TechForce’s social network. Whether you want to make industry connections, learn, or just have fun TechForce has something for you! Log in to explore events like UTI’s free Power & Performance Workshop at JoinTechForce.org>>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pursuing your passion with TechForce scholarships

Derrick Graham_2037178766 (2)Congratulations to diesel technician student Derrick Graham on receiving a TechForce Foundation scholarship! Derrick says, “I have loved semi-trucks for as long as I can remember. I wanted to learn as much about them as I could. My passion is the diesel engine.” Sound like you? Find a career that fits with scholarships, e-learning and resources through TechForce’s network>>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bring the repair bay into the classroom with T2U!

T2U GraphicTomorrow’s Technician University (T2U) is a free, interactive learning management system designed for high school and college-level students in technical programs. Registered instructors and students gain access to hours of instructional videos, quizzes and tests produced by both ASE certified technicians and leading automotive aftermarket brands. New courses are added monthly, with topics ranging from data bus diagnostic and meter usage to hybrid repair. See current T2U course offerings here>>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Something fun… What song lyrics best describe your ride?

Lyrics Contest HeaderWe know some of our favorite songs are all about working in the garage, racing with our friends, or just cruising down the highway. We want to hear yours! Tell us what your favorite song lyrics about your vehicle is for a chance to win points in the TechForce network. Enter the contest at JoinTechForce.org>>

 

Thank you to all TechForce Foundation partners!

TFF-ALL-Partners-Logo-Lockup-210921Associations: Automotive Communications Council, Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association (AMRA), American Rental Association (ARA), Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Automotive Service Association (ASA), Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), ASE Education Foundation, ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC), Auto Care Association/Women in Auto Care, Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT), Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA), Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR), Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence, National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada (NAACC), National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF), National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), National Center for Autonomous Technology (NCAT), SkillsUSA, STEAM Sports Foundation and American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC)

Celebrities: Charles Sanville (The Humble Mechanic), Lyn St. James (IndyCar), Bogi Lateiner (Girl Gang Garage), Steve Johnson (Steve Johnson Racing – NHRA) and Julia Landauer (Julia Landauer Racing – NASCAR)

Women Techs Rock: Josie Whitlock proves the value of good mentorship

This technician spotlight is published as part of TechForce Foundation’s diversity initiatives. Help us find other women technicians to highlight in Women Techs Rock. Get started at TechForce.org/WomenTechStories


 

 

Women Techs Rock Highlight

A square graphic, split down the middle. The left half has Josie Whitlock's quote "Be the reason someone smiles today." The left half has a photo of Josie Whitlock at work next to a vehicle's engine.Name: Josie Whitlock
Employer: Matt’s Automotive Service Center
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
School: North Dakota State College of Science

 

Who is Josie Whitlock?

In any career – or any endeavor, for that matter – a great support system is key to success. Fortunately, Josie Whitlock has had the support of friends, family, and instructors throughout her education and career as an Automotive Technician.

Josie’s first taste of an automotive career was in high school, when she worked in a tire shop. While she loved her time there, she envisioned a career in the military, which unfortunately wasn’t in the cards. Recalling the auto shop classes she enjoyed in high school, she enrolled at North Dakota State College of Science, where she found a community of like-minded and supportive instructors, administrators, and peers, devoid of the sexism that so many up-and- coming women techs experience.

Graduating with an Associate of Arts and Sciences in Automotive Technology, Josie started her career in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, before moving to Fargo, North Dakota, and Matt’s Automotive Service Center. And what a great move it was.

At Matt’s, she’s found an owner and mentor who is not only a master mechanic who leads in-house training, but who also makes respect a top priority. He even goes so far as to do personality testing before hiring, to ensure that the shop remains a drama-free and support-heavy environment. And when there’s a customer who refuses to have their car serviced by a woman? Matt sends them down the road. It’s support like this that makes Josie believe that those old stereotypes are changing. She’s worked with women service writers, lube techs, and full-service techs, and works among a group that fully accepts her and her role in the industry. In fact, applications to “Women Techs Rock!” were submitted by most, if not all, of her male co-workers.

That’s the kind of support to build a career on.

 

Q & A:

Where do you want to take your career?

“I want to learn more about electronics to be able to do advanced diagnostics and recalibration of safety systems.”

 

What is your near- and long-term vision for yourself?

“I want to stay with Matt’s. They’re family-oriented with great growth potential and plenty of ongoing training to stay current.”

 

Was you family behind your career choice?

“Mom wasn’t sure if this was a good choice and thought a four-year program would be best. She’s a lawyer. But after I got started and she said that I was thriving and doing well, she changed her mind.”

 

What advice would you give a young woman?

“Find your confidence! Know when to speak up and how to deal with adversity. It’s not something they teach in school and it’s a lesson worth learning young. Also, don’t stir the pot unnecessarily. If you have an issue, try to resolve it on your own first.”

 

Do you have a personal mantra?

“Be the reason someone smiles today.”

 


 

Women Techs Rock: How college grad Hannah Lutrey found her purpose in the world of forklifts

This technician spotlight is published as part of TechForce Foundation’s diversity initiatives. Help us find other women technicians to highlight in Women Techs Rock. Get started at TechForce.org/WomenTechStories


 

Women Techs Rock Highlight

Name: Hannah Lutrey
Employer: Doosan Industrial Vehicle America Corporation
Age: 33
Location: Duluth, Georgia
School: Gwinnett Technical College; Randolph College

 

Technician Hannah Lutrey pictured next her quote, "Just keep going. Deep breath. It's very rewarding."

Who is Hannah Lutrey?

Hannah Lutrey always considered herself a gearhead – a fan of cars and motorcycles, with an interest in how things work – but she never imagined that she’d find herself working in the world of forklifts.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and aiming for a career of helping others, like many of us, Hannah found that life has a funny way of steering toward another direction. She found herself working as a warranty administrator for PAI Industries in Suwanee, Georgia. She was – as she says – “thrown into the deep end,” working as part of the failure analysis process, writing denial reports, and working with suppliers to make product improvements based on claim discoveries. However, she soon grew tired of not fully understanding what techs were talking about.

The solution? Gwinnett Technical College and the Heavy Duty Diesel Service Technician Certification Program. With an employer that allowed her time to go to school and an instructor who was hugely supportive (they’re still in touch), she was not only the first woman to apply for the program, but also the first to graduate with a 4.0 GPA. And, she’s proud to say, without any student debt.

Looking to expand her career beyond what PAI could offer, she was introduced to Doosan Industrial Vehicle America Corporation at a career fair and was hired as a Product Support Representative – the first woman to hold a tech position there. Now, she helps technicians troubleshoot problems in the field, provides support to regional representatives, and assists with warranty parts returns and analysis. While she looks forward to working more closely with dealers in a regional position, she loves her job, thanks to the supportive people she gets to work with. And yes, because she’s a specialist in the installation for specific forklift parts, she still gets to pick up a wrench now and again.

 

Q & A:

Do people give you a hard time because you’re a woman? 

“Once, a man called for tech support and wouldn’t speak to me. I don’t dwell on it though. I won’t let a fool affect what I do.”

 

What would you tell other women considering this profession?

“It’s very rewarding, but you have to really love it to make it. Is Doosan ready for more women techs? Yes! We hear that Cummins engines wants more women on staff because they’re more detail-oriented.”

 

What mantra do you use when things get challenging?

“Just keep going. Deep breath. You can’t change stupid.”

 

What is your dream form of transportation?

“A 1930 round-body pickup with a wood bed, a Cummins small-block engine, and Allison automatic transmission. Or a split-windshield Studebaker pickup. Or a 6-speed Mini Clubman.”

 


 

Under The Hood | August 2021

TOPICS IN UNDER THE HOOD FOR SEPTEMBER 2021:

Because I’m a Tech | Driven to Care scholarship recipients at Road America | Show us your tattoo contest | Technician Careers | Women Techs Rock | Join TechForce for free training

Stand up for tech careers with your “Because I’m a Tech…” story

The-Humble-Mechanic---Thumbnail_210819Calling all techs! Don’t sit on the sidelines – tell all who need to hear it what can be achieved with a transportation technician career. Check out this video from The Humble Mechanic for inspiration, and join the conversation by telling the world what you’ve accomplished “Because I’m a Tech…”⁠ Share your story on social media with #BecauseImaTech

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Last chance: Vote for TechForce in MOTOR’s Top 20 Awards

Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 1-56-39 PM-2Voting closes today in MOTOR’s Top 20 Awards! TechForce’s social network has been nominated as one of the most innovative and exciting new things in the automotive industry, and we need your help to win this year’s award. Vote for JoinTechForce.org to recognize the only one-stop-shop built exclusively for future and working techs. Vote now>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Celebrating Driven to Care scholarship recipients at Road America

20210717_All Smiles 112225-2Lisa Weinberger and TechForce recently hosted local students, including Accelerate Tuition/John Weinberger “Driven to Care” scholarship recipients, at Road America in Wisconsin. Students had the opportunity to meet racing legends, watch vintage racecars in action pit-side, and get behind-the-scenes with pit crews.

More student race-day events are being planned for other locations. College-level students can apply for Accelerate Tuition scholarships through TechForce’s social network>>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Discover your future in our Ultimate Guide to Technician Careers

The demand for transportation techs is surging. Yet, many people don’t realize the opportunity and potential for success in transportation technology and repair. Discover your “new collar” STEM career, including job types, skills needed and average salary. Download our free Ultimate Guide to Tech Careers at TechForce.org/CareerGuide
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Something fun… Enter our “Show us your ink” contest

Show us your ink! We want to know your story and who you are through your tattoos. Enter for a chance to win a “When Techs Rock, America Rolls®” T-shirt and 5,000 points. Contests are just one fun part of the only social network built for aspiring and working techs. Learn more about our current contests at JoinTechForce.org>>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Help TechForce inspire the next generation of women techs

WTR_TFN_Bethaney-Bowman-Engine-Block_100T_1600X900_210714Only 2.5% of technicians are women. It is time to celebrate them, learn from them and work together to raise the percentage! Help us share stories from women techs who rock and inspire the next generation. Tell us who we should recognize at TechForce.org/WomenTechStories
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join TechForce for free training from our partners

Partner training_TechForce peer networkCan you easily explain how an electrical system works? Are you up to date on hybrid engines? Do you know how automated vehicles stay on the road? Stay up to date on advancing vehicle technology with free training from Advance Auto Parts, Cengage, Shell, WD-40, GM and other TechForce partners! Simply join TechForce’s social network to get started>>

Thank you to all TechForce Foundation partners!

TFF-ALL-Partners-Logo-Lockup-210521-2Associations: Automotive Communications Council, Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association (AMRA), American Rental Association (ARA), Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Automotive Service Association (ASA), Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), ASE Education Foundation, ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC), Auto Care Association/Women in Auto Care, Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT), Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA), Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR), Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence, National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada (NAACC), National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF), National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), National Center for Autonomous Technology (NCAT), SkillsUSA, STEAM Sports Foundation and American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC)

Celebrities: Charles Sanville (The Humble Mechanic), Lyn St. James (IndyCar), Bogi Lateiner (Girl Gang Garage), Steve Johnson (Steve Johnson Racing – NHRA) and Julia Landauer (Julia Landauer Racing – NASCAR)

For more news on TechForce Foundation, follow us on social media at the links below!

 

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TechForce Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to champion all students to and through their education and into careers as professional technicians. 

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