NASHVILLE — Bridgestone Americas Inc. has donated $100,000 to TechForce Foundation to help fund the national nonprofit's efforts to promote students' technical education and careers in the automotive industry.
"In order to provide trusted service that helps keep drivers safe on the road, our industry must come together to help develop and support the next generation of skilled automotive technicians," Heather Robertson, executive director, human resources, Bridgestone Retail Operations, said.
"A career as an automotive technician can provide competitive compensation and unlimited opportunities for growth for young people, and we appreciate our partners at the TechForce Foundation who are working to ensure they have equitable access to this job pathway."
The donation is being funded by Bridgestone Retail Operations and the Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, which will provide scholarships and grants for students pursuing careers as automotive technicians and supply resources for those seeking jobs post-graduation.
According to TechForce's 2022 Technician Supply & Demand Report, demand for new technicians has nearly doubled since 2020. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show five jobs open for every one new technician graduate.
The new funding brings to $450,000 the amount Bridgestone has pledged to TechForce Foundation since 2015, when they began a relationship to develop solutions to strengthen the pipeline of automotive technicians into the workforce and bring awareness to career opportunities within the industry.
Earlier this year LKQ Corp., a supplier of alternative vehicle collision replacement products, donated $50,000 to the TechForce Foundation to support students pursuing technical education and careers as professional transportation technicians.