The transportation industry is dealing with a new reality: fewer and fewer young people today consider the work of a transportation technician to be a profession, let alone one that is viable or desirable. It's disheartening, especially to those students who might struggle in a typical classroom setting, yet who come alive when encouraged to work with their hands. Equally distressing is the idea that parents and school counselors may not be supportive of technical career paths due to outdated perceptions of today's well-paying, high-tech careers in the skilled trades.
The Foundation intends to change that. TechForce Foundation will serve as the spark for an industry-wide, all-inclusive, comprehensive effort –the FUTURETECH SUCCESS™ campaign – focused on the middle school and early high school years – to change perceptions and help newly energized families to support their students in the rewarding, professional career of transportation technology and service. The campaign has already received the corporate support of Nissan North America, Bridgestone/Firestone, Advance Auto Parts/CarQuest, Universal Technical Institute, Cengage Learning, S/P2, WheelTime University and numerous industry partners, including SkillsUSA, AYES, NATEF, ASE, ATMC and the Arizona Science Center.
For 10 years, the Foundation's mission has been to champion the technical student who wants to pursue his/her technical education and career in the transportation industry by providing scholarships and grants. As students work toward their dreams, they have rent and utilities to pay, transportation costs to get to campus, food, childcare and other bills. Many have families and most hold part-time jobs while attending school. Sometimes 'life happens' and there's just not enough money to bridge the divide. The TechForce Foundation strives to be a support mechanism to help students get to and stay in school, succeed in earning their degree, and fill the jobs that are out there for them when they graduate. The Foundation will continue to do this work, distributing more than $1.5 million in awards in 2016 in scholarship and hardship grants.
"The new TechForce Foundation brand reflects the modern, high-tech nature of today's transportation services careers and reinforces the critical role technicians fill to keep our transportation infrastructure and economy rolling," said Jennifer Maher, CEO/Executive Director of TechForce Foundation. "We will continue to help fund the dreams of technical students through scholarships and grants, but in our new form also will collaborate with transportation industry partners on a comprehensive campaign to fuel the future pipeline by challenging the outdated, 'grease-monkey' perception and showcasing the new reality of high-tech, high-demand, middle-class careers enjoyed by today's transportation technicians."
About TECHFORCE FOUNDATION
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the TechForce Foundation (formerly the Universal Technical Institute Foundation) encourages and supports students pursuing post-secondary technical education and careers in the transportation industry. The Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants annually, thanks to its generous corporate sponsors and donors. For more information, visit www.techforcefoundation.org.
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SOURCE TECHFORCE FOUNDATION