18-Year-Old ‘Barrier Buster’ Riley Schlick-Trask Wins Grand Prize in TechForce’s 2023 Techs Rock Awards

18-Year-Old ‘Barrier Buster’ Riley Schlick-Trask Wins Grand Prize in TechForce’s 2023 Techs Rock AwardsTM

College-Bound Owner of Riley’s Rebuilds, Bradenton, Fla., is First-Ever Independent Shop Winner of Award Honoring Professional Technicians

June 20, 2023 — PHOENIX — Eighteen-year-old Riley Schlick-Trask will enter college this fall with more than high hopes for a great education. She’ll also have the support of professional technicians and leading mobility/transportation industry organizations across North America as Grand Prize Winner of the TechForce Foundation® 2023 Techs Rock Awards.

A photo of Riley Schlick-Trask leaning against a wall and smiling. She is wearing a Riley's Rebuilds branded t-shirt.

As owner of a highly successful carburetor rebuilding business, Riley’s Rebuilds, Bradenton, Fla., Riley exhibits the passion and grit that will help drive successful, rewarding careers for the next generation of professional technicians. She is the first independent shop professional to win the top honor in the Techs Rock Awards program.

“I am very excited, very honored, and very grateful to be the Grand Prize Winner!” Riley said. “I’m fortunate to be blessed with the industry’s support and to have a platform thanks to that support. I’m super happy to be the Grand Prize Winner, and I’m in awe of my fellow Category Winners!”

Riley at age 13 began restoring carburetors to earn money to eventually purchase her first car. Her business took off when she turned to social media to find parts to meet her clients’ needs. Since then, she has been featured in more than 50 publications, appeared on local and national television, and built an online following of like-minded young people. “Riley is using this opportunity and her brand…to inspire a host of other young women to see this industry as one of growing opportunity and incredible support,” wrote her Techs Rock Awards nominator.

“TechForce is committed to powering the technician workforce,” says Executive Director Jennifer Maher. “The Techs Rock Awards bring the mobility industry together to support the next generation, change the public perception of these high-tech STEM careers, and celebrate today’s leaders. Each winner is full of passion and grit, exhibits true excellence, and inspires the next generation of techs. We are proud to celebrate their contributions.”

Thousands of TechForce followers voted for Riley as the Grand Prize Winner from among five Category Winners in the June 12 – 16, 2023, People’s Choice public vote. Riley previously won the Awards’ Barrier Buster Category.

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

Previous Techs Rock Grand Prize Winners include Daniel McCrum of CarMax in 2022, Donald Ranquist of CarMax in 2021, Melina Algier of Farnsworth Chevrolet in 2019, and Michael Cole of Kunes Ford of Delevan in 2018.

TechForce partners have awarded more than $18,500 in prizes to this year’s honorees:

  • Each Category Winner receives prizes valued at over $1,900 from TechForce partners Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Cengage Learning, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Nissan, Snap-on Industrial, and WD-40 Company.
  • In addition to their Category Winner prizes, the Grand Prize Winner, chosen by popular vote, will 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.

Celebrity judges selected the five Category Winners from hundreds of nominated technicians. Judges include Bogi Lateiner, Bogi’s Garage; Harrison Burton, Wood Brothers Racing; Emily Reeves, Flying Sparks Garage; Pete Meier, Dorman Products; and Camrie Caruso, Camrie Caruso Motorsports.

The 2023 Category Winners include:

  • Barrier Buster – Riley Schlick-Trask, Owner, Riley’s Rebuilds. The Barrier Buster category recognizes technicians for showing heart and passion in overcoming obstacles to succeed.
  • Die Hard – Bryan Kuehni, World Class Technician, Advantage Chevrolet Bolingbrook. The Die Hard category recognizes industry superfans who live, breathe, sleep, and thrive in their career.
  • Outstanding Mentor – James Jacobsen, Master Technician, Lake Motor Company. The Outstanding Mentor category recognizes technicians for supporting and guiding the industry’s future techs.
  • Pay it Forward – Bradley Hindman, Owner, Mission Auto Repair. The Pay it Forward category recognizes technicians for being community advocates and inspiring the next generation of techs.
  • Rookie of the Year – Jinelee Galindez, Technician, Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando. The Rookie of the Year category recognizes up-and-coming tech professionals with under two years of professional experience.

Since 2018 the Techs Rock Awards have awarded more than $65,000 in prizes to 25 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 providing prizes, Nissan and INFINITI are 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 online community designed and gamified for professional technicians and tech students to connect with each other, employers, and schools (TechForce.org). The transportation community supports TechForce with content and uses 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 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.

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Category Winners Announced, Vote Opens for Grand Prize in 2023 Techs Rock Awards

Category Winners Announced and Vote Opens for Grand Prize in TechForce’s 2023 Techs Rock AwardsTM

Five professional transportation/mobility technicians recognized for outstanding contributions as role models in their shops and communities - one will win grand prize

June 12, 2023 – PHOENIX — TechForce Foundation® announces the Category Winners in the 2023 Techs Rock Awards and opens the Grand Prize Public Vote. 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. Meet the Category Winners and vote for the Grand Prize Winner at TechForce.org/Vote. Voting is open through 11:59 p.m. PT on Friday, June 16, 2023.

The five Category Winners were selected from hundreds of nominated technicians by expert celebrity judges including Bogi Lateiner, Bogi’s Garage; Harrison Burton, Wood Brothers Racing; Emily Reeves, Flying Sparks Garage; Pete Meier, Dorman Products; and Camrie Caruso, Camrie Caruso Motorsports.

More than $18,500 in prizes will be awarded to this year’s honorees:

  • Each of the five Category Winners receives prizes valued over $1,900 from TechForce partners Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Cengage Learning, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Nissan, Snap-on Industrial and WD-40 Company.
  • In addition to their Category Winner prizes, the Grand Prize Winner, chosen by popular vote, will 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.

Each Category Winner represents a distinct category. These winners are:

  • Barrier Buster – Riley Schlick-Trask, Riley’s Rebuilds. The Barrier Buster category recognizes technicians for showing heart and passion in overcoming obstacles to succeed.
  • Die Hard – Bryan Kuehni, Advantage Chevrolet Bolingbrook. The Die Hard category recognizes industry superfans who live, breathe, sleep and thrive in their career.
  • Outstanding Mentor – James Jacobsen, Lake Motor Company. The Outstanding Mentor category recognizes technicians for providing support and guidance to the industry’s future techs.
  • Pay it Forward – Bradley Hindman, Mission 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 – Jinelee Galindez, Mercedes Benz of South Orlando. The Rookie of the Year category recognizes up-and-coming tech professionals with under two years’ professional experience.

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.

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 providing prizes, Nissan is 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 TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.

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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.

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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.

Links

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2022 Techs Rock Awards: Category Winners Announced & Grand Prize Vote NOW OPEN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TechForce Foundation® Opens Grand Prize Vote & Announces Category Winners in 4th Annual Techs Rock Awards

Five technicians recognized for outstanding contributions as role models in their shops & communities, one to be selected by the public for Grand Prize

November 28, 2022 — PHOENIX — TechForce Foundation® announces the Category Winners in the 2022 Techs Rock Awards and opens the Grand Prize Public Vote. 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 Category Winners and vote for the Grand Prize Winner at TechForce.org/Vote. Voting is open through 11:59 PM PT on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022.

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.

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:

  • Each Category Winner receives prizes valued over $1,700 from TechForce partners including Ford Motor Company, AutoZone, CRC Industries, Snap-on Industrial, Advance Auto Parts, WD-40 Company and Cengage.
  • The Grand Prize Winner will receive 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 from TechForce partners CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Snap-on Industrial, Advance Auto Parts, WD-40 Company and AutoZone.

Each Category Winner represents a distinct category. Awardees include:

  • 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 Grand Prize will be awarded to one Category Winner, as selected by the ongoing Grand Prize Public Vote. Voting ends Friday, December 2, 2022 at 11:59 PM PT. Read the Category Winners’ bios and vote for the 2022 Grand Prize Winner at TechForce.org/Vote

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 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.

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TechForce Launches 4th Annual Techs Rock Awards

TechForce Foundation Now Accepting Nominations for its 4th Annual Techs Rock AwardsTM through Nov. 4

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

 

October 20, 2022 – SCOTTSDALE, AZ — TechForce Foundation’s® annual Techs Rock Awards season has begun. TechForce created this prestigious award 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. The Techs Rock Awards are accepting nominations through 5 PM PDT, November 4, 2022 at TechForce.org/TechsRock.

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

Each Category Winner, selected by a panel of industry experts, will receive prizes valued over $1,700 from TechForce partners including Ford Motor Company, AutoZone, CRC Industries, Snap-on Industrial, Advance Auto Parts, WD-40 Company and Cengage. 

The Grand Prize Winner, as chosen by popular vote, will receive additional prizes valued over $8,500 from Advance Auto Parts, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Snap-on Industrial, WD-40 Company and AutoZone.

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 celebrity judges will select one Category 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 November 28 – December 2, 2022.

2022 Techs Rock Award judges include 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.

2021 Grand Prize Winner and Carmax technician Donald Ranquist recently reflected on what winning has meant for him, “I don’t usually brag about myself… This is really exciting. Thank you! Getting a trip to [the 2022 STX Supplier & Training Expo in Orlando] is a huge opportunity… The training that comes with it, being able to take that back to my team… and the different tools and items… have helped [me] get [my] jobs done.”

TechForce Foundation will be releasing a 2022 update to its Technician Supply & Demand Report at the 2022 AAPEX show addressing the ongoing technician shortage. Recognition programs like the Techs Rock Awards help address that shortage. These programs are vital not only to retaining technicians but to repositioning the public’s perception of technician jobs as the high-tech, rewarding, new-collar careers that they are.

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 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.

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RELEASE: Grand Prize Winner named in 2021 Techs Rock Awards

TechForce Foundation® Announces
2021 Techs Rock Awards
TM Grand Prize Winner

 

Donald Ranquist of CarMax selected for top honors
in 3
rd annual Awards honoring technicians

December 7, 2021 – SCOTTSDALE, AZ — TechForce Foundation® announces Donald Ranquist, an automotive technician at CarMax in South Jordan, Utah, as the 2021 Techs Rock Awards Grand Prize Winner. TechForce created this prestigious award 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 Grand Prize and Category Winners at TechForce.org/Winners.

Ranquist was selected amongst the Awards’ five Category Winners, through an online people’s choice vote held November 29 – December 3, 2021. Over 5,500 ballots were cast in the vote. Ranquist was previously named as the Pay it Forward Category Winner, as selected by TechForce’s panel of industry judges including Bogi Lateiner, Bogi’s Garage; Charles Sanville, The Humble Mechanic; Emily Reeves, Flying Sparks Garage; Steve Ford, The Car Guy; and Julia Landauer, NASCAR Driver.

In addition to the more than $1,800 in prizes awarded to each Category Winner, Ranquist will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to STX 2022 in Orlando, FL valued at $3,000, courtesy of Advance Auto Parts, and a Grand Prize package valued at over $5,000 from TechForce partners CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Snap-on Tools, Advance Auto Parts, Shell, WD-40 Company, and AutoZone.

When Donald Ranquist learned he was the 2021 Techs Rock Awards Grand Prize Winner he exclaimed, “I won?! That’s awesome! …I don’t usually brag about myself… This is really exciting. Thank you!”

Ranquist acknowledged his stiff competition in the vote, and went on to praise his fellow Category Winners, “I read through [their profiles] and they’re all amazing technicians and people. I was impressed by what they have overcome… If I could say anything to the other [Winners] it would be ‘heck of a job… you’re amazing.”

“TechForce Foundation is proud to recognize Donald Ranquist and CarMax with this Award,” says TechForce Foundation Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer Mike Pressendo. “The Techs Rock Awards were established to recognize the often overlooked yet outstanding contributions transportation technicians make in their communities day in and day out. Donald illustrates the positive impacts techs make. He sets a great example for others to follow.”

About Donald from his nomination: “Donald Ranquist makes it a priority to find ways he can positively impact those around him. From serving on the CarMax Cares committee to establishing his own non-profit to heal victims of bullying through Motorsports, Donald shows those new to the industry what can be achieved as a technician. In his own words, ‘As an automotive technician I’ve developed skills that can help many people… I try and offer assistance in any way I can.’”

The 2021 Category Winners each represent a distinct category. Awardees include:

  • Outstanding Mentor – David May, Karl Tyler Chevrolet in Missoula, MT
  • Rookie of the Year – Drew Harless, Berglund Ford in Salem, VA
  • Die Hard – Jess Anderson, Kolar Chevrolet in Hermantown, MN
  • Barrier Buster – Gabriel Gaumer, MHC Kenworth in Topeka, KS
  • Pay it Forward – (Grand Prize Winner) Donald Ranquist, CarMax in South Jordan, UT

The Techs Rock Awards are part of TechForce Foundation’s workforce development initiative to help inspire and support tomorrow’s workforce of technicians. TechForce has 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 (JoinTechForce.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 nonprofit, 501(c)(3) with the mission to champion all students to and through their technical education and into careers as professional transportation technicians. The Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants annually, thanks to its generous corporate sponsors and donors, and spearheads an industry-wide workforce development initiative to help encourage and support more young people to pursue the vehicle technician profession. For more information, visit www.techforce.org. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin.

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"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