SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — TechForce Foundation has named Jonathon Miranda, an automotive student at the Ohio Technical College in Cleveland, as the 2019 FutureTechs Rock Awards grand prize winner.
The FutureTechs Rock Awards recognize students' commitment to and passion for the technician profession and the transportation industry. The awards are part of TechForce Foundation's FutureTech Success initiative to help inspire and support tomorrow's workforce of technicians.
Only 57,000 technician students graduate each year while the workforce need is 120,000 new entrant techs per year just to keep up with demand, according to the foundation.
During the week of April 8 People's Choice voting period, TechForce followers cast more than 25,000 votes among 10 national finalists who were selected among more than 160 nominees by a panel of judges to represent the different segments of the technician profession: automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, motorsports and machining.
Mr. Miranda secured the largest number of votes for the grand prize — a choice of a $1,000 TechForce Foundation tuition scholarship to apply towards his post-secondary technician education or a sponsored Snap-on Inc. tool voucher of equal value.
Throughout his 18-month automotive program, Mr. Miranda has maintained perfect attendance, achieved honor roll six times, and earned all As in his associate degree academic classes, which are separate from his technical coursework, TechForce said.
He is a member of his school's Student Leadership Council, where he serves as a role model and mentor, welcomes new students to campus and volunteers for on-campus events. He also volunteers as a judge with Hot Rodders of Tomorrow, SEMA, and as lead judge for Piston Power Show's high school engine building competition.
Nominations were submitted by instructors, school personnel, fellow students, youth program directors, and business and community leaders.
Nominations were reviewed by a panel of volunteer judges including Julia Landauer, NASCAR driver; Tony Molla, Automotive Service Association; Brandon Eckenrode, Collision Repair Education Foundation; Larry Cox, Sunstate Equipment; Ken Calhoun, Altec Service Group; and Frank Leutz, Desert Car Care of Chandler and Wrench Nation.
Each of the 10 national finalists received a tool voucher sponsored by Snap-on, a gift certificate to Cengage's online educational library sponsored by Cengage Learning, and a Haynes Online Manual sponsored by Haynes North America.
The nine finalists included two automotive high school students — Ryan Adkins of Collins Career Center in Chesapeake, Ohio, and Angelle Vanderwarf of Kankakee Area Career Center in Bourbonnais, Ill. — and one post-secondary student, Antonio Yepez Cervantes of Ventura College in Ventura, Calif.
The other finalists included: Liam Thompson, Delgado Community College, New Orleans; Noah Salo, Joliet Public School in Joliet, Mont.; Felyciti Alvarez, Fallbrook High School, Fallbrook, Calif.; Aaron Smith, Schuylkill Technology Center, Frackville, Pa; Wyatt Mote, Wake Forest High School, Wake Forest, N.C.; and Riley Prince, Gateway Community College, Phoenix.
FutureTech Success is sponsored by industry partners, including Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone Inc., Bridgestone Americas Inc., CarMax, FedEx Freight, Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Interstate Batteries, Manheim, Mercedes-Benz USA, Nissan North America, Penske Truck Leasing, Shell Pennzoil, Snap-on, Universal Technical Institute, Valvoline Inc. and WD-40 Co.