TechForce launches campaign to develop future technicians
LAS VEGAS — TechForce Foundation, a non-profit organization, has launched a campaign to develop an ongoing stream of future qualified technicians for vehicle repair businesses.
FutureTech Success, created by Greg Settle, TechForce director of national initiatives, and Jennifer Maher, Tech-Force CEO/executive director, has a threefold purpose:
- Give middle school and high school students, parents and influencers the tools and experiences to recognize and foster tactile intelligence;
- Help reposition the image of the profession; and
- Help the industry speak with a collective voice with regard to its workforce development needs.
"Our goal is to identify and provide naturally talented tactile learners with the after-school programs, clubs and activities, mentors and experiences that allow them to engage with the highly advanced and rapidly expanding world of vehicle technology so they — and their parents and influencers — understand there are prosperous technical career opportunities that they may not have considered," Mr. Settle said.
TechForce has created a website — www.futuretechsuccess.org — that contains information for students to ascertain their interest and aptitude for a technical career. To assist students in their quest to become technicians, a number of resources are presented, including after-school and summer camp programs, a listing of technical schools, available internships and scholarships, a job board, needed certifications, industry events and industry associations, TechForce said.
Through the FutureTech Success campaign, TechForce said it will serve as the "collective hub," compiling resources throughout the industry and presenting them in a one-stop-shop microsite for future techs and their parents, school counselors, youth directors and other influencers.
The site also will feature videos of automotive repair professionals sharing their technical experiences and insights. Likewise, students can share their own stories and join the FutureTech Success community.
The campaign's second purpose is to erase the negative "grease monkey" image.
"Not that this image was ever deserved, but today it is simply absurd," Ms. Maher said. "The complexity of today's vehicles rival some of the most sophisticated aircraft — and the technical and computer knowledge, as well as the tactile and STEM skills required to work on them, is truly amazing."
She said that striving to be a vehicle technician today is hardly a "fall back" career but rather a desirable profession with readily available and unlimited opportunities across several market segments ranging from automotive, motorcycles, motorsports and boats to medium and heavy duty trucks to collision repair and the machinery used in construction, mining and agriculture.
So far, 14 corporations have signed on as partners to the campaign, TechForce said, and several industry associations are supporting the effort.
TechForce distributes more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants annually to help encourage and support more young people to pursue the vehicle technician profession.
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