TechForce Announces Grand Prize Winner in 2023 FutureTechs Rock Awards

TechForce Foundation® Announces Grand Prize Winner of Annual FutureTechs Rock Awards

Taeler Coverdale of Houston honored with $1,000 scholarship and $4,000 in prizes; 10 transportation technician students honored with over $20,000 in National Awards

March 7, 2023 – PHOENIX – Taeler Coverdale, a Collision Repair student at Universal Technical Institute in Houston, Texas has been named as Grand Prize Winner in TechForce Foundation®’s 2023 FutureTechs Rock Awards. TechForce created this prestigious award to honor aspiring technicians and recognize students with a promising future in the transportation industry. Learn more about the 2023 Grand Prize and Category Winners at

“This is amazing! I’m in utter shock right now,” said Taeler upon learning she is this year’s Grand Prize Winner. “Thank you for the opportunity… being an example for other women… that’s what I want, that’s why I’m in this. I want to make a difference for women in this industry. If a girl sees that she might think she’s able to do this as a career.”

More than 4,000 TechForce followers voted in this year’s awards. The student with the most votes was Taeler, earning her the Grand Prize from among ten contenders who were all Category Winners. Taeler was previously named as the Collision Repair Category Winner.

“Role models like Taeler show students that there is a place for them in technician careers. As we all know, young people are so much more likely to pursue a career if they see people like them succeeding in it. Women account for less than 3% of transportation techs, and so welcoming women into the trade is critical to addressing the ongoing technician shortage. TechForce is proud to celebrate Taeler and the new generation of women joining the industry,” said TechForce Executive Director Jennifer Maher.

As the Grand Prize Winner Taeler will receive a $1,000 TechForce scholarship and $4,000 in prizes from TechForce and sponsors including Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Cengage Learning, CRC Industries, Mighty Auto Parts, New Ford Tech, Nissan, Snap-on Industrial, Volvo and WD-40 Company.

Through the FutureTechs Rock Awards TechForce and its partners have awarded 50 transportation technician students with over $67,000 in prizes and scholarships since 2019. The Awards are made possible because of generous donations from people and companies that believe everyone should have a chance to succeed.

Each of the ten Category Winners has been awarded $1,500 in prizes. Category Winners were selected by industry-expert judges from hundreds of High School and Post-Secondary nominations, representing 182 campuses across 38 states. 30% of the Category Winners were women, a significant proportion considering only 3% of professional technicians are women.

The ten Category Winners represent seven states and ten schools, with each being recognized in a distinct technical education discipline:

  • Automotive – Abbie Vetse, Hennepin Technical College, Maple Grove, MN
  • Aviation – Teresa Sacca, Antelope Valley College, Lancaster, CA
  • Collision Repair – Taeler Coverdale, Universal Technical Institute, Houston, TX
  • Diesel Off-Road – Nicholas Isaly, Lenawee ISD TECH Center, Adrian, MI
  • Diesel On-Road – Andrew Younkin, Western Technical College, El Paso, TX
  • Marine and Watercraft – Benjamin Pooler, Portland Arts & Technology High School, Buxton, ME
  • Motorcycle and ATV – Everrett Novak, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, Phoenix, AZ
  • Motorsports – Benjamin Delauter, NASCAR Technical Institute, Mooresville, NC
  • Restoration – Tyler Renken, Central Carolina Community College, Bunnlevel, NC
  • Welding and CNC – Connor Essary, St. Clair TEC, St. Clair, MI

The FutureTechs Rock Awards are part of TechForce’s workforce development campaign to inspire and support tomorrow’s workforce of technicians. TechForce also created the first and only social network designed and gamified for professional technicians and tech students to connect with each other, employers and schools ( 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 and will award more $2.3 million in scholarships and grants in 2023 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 Follow us on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.


$10,000 Raised For UTI Houston Campus


Friends — 

Following the hurricane in Houston, TechForce Foundation is doing its part to support students attending the UTI-Houston campus. To date, we’ve raised just shy of $10,000!  Thank you to all who have contributed.

Since we expect great need now that students have returned to school, TechForce has immediately released $6,000 to the campus’ pantry and on-the-spot emergency relief fund so that support is readily available for students in crisis.  We plan to continue our aid to students via 3 mechanisms:

Ways the Disaster Relief Fund Supports Houston Students

1. Immediately at campus through the on-the-spot emergency relief process, for awards up to $400.  While we’re maintaining this award limit, should Houston have a student with exceptional circumstances and needs a bit more help, a simple call to Lisa Mattke at the Foundation can unlock additional approvals for higher awards.

2.  Immediately from the Food Pantry.  The Houston campus is encouraged to use a portion of the funds to fully stock its pantry to readily serve students in need. 

3.  Weekly through the Life Happens application process, for emergency relief awards up to $1,200.  To alleviate additional stress of completing the general application, affected students need only write “Harvey” for any text questions not related to describing their need. 

Thank you to all UTI staff, UTI board of directors, vendors and industry partners, for showing your support to those at the UTI-Houston campus, and for allowing TechForce Foundation to make a significant impact in these students’ ability to stay in school. Your donations, cooperation, and prayers are greatly appreciated.

Click here to donate to the UTI Houston Student Relief Fund



hurricane harvey emergency relief fund UTI Houston students




Jennifer L. Maher, CEO/Executive Director