The Ford Motor Company Fund, the company’s philanthropic arm, is joining Ford dealers across four US cities – Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Phoenix – to provide a million dollars in scholarship funding to help students pursue careers as automotive technicians.
The auto industry has long faced a shortage of technicians due to fewer students entering and graduating from post-secondary programs, according to TechForce Foundation. Despite the annual demand for 258,000 new technicians, there are only 48,000 graduates from technician programs each year nationwide. The gap is likely to widen over the next decade without new graduates as there are projected growth rates of 14% in Arizona, 10% in Texas, 7% in Georgia and 3% in Illinois for this career field respectively.
“As we move toward an electrified future, these career opportunities are exciting and require skilled technicians who are proficient in STEM-related study,” said Elena Ford, chief customer experience officer. “Working together with the Ford Fund and our dealers to offer this scholarship program means we will welcome a new generation of diverse students to the industry, and hopefully into our Ford family, to help us better serve our customers.”
The Ford Auto Tech Scholarship is open to current and future students who are enrolled in post-secondary auto or auto and diesel technician training programs in the Greater Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Phoenix areas. This need-based scholarship is applied to a student’s school tuition account and may be used for all costs of attendance, including tuition, tools, living expenses, and transportation.
“These scholarships will go a long way in engaging students, particularly those from under-resourced communities, to consider careers in automotive technology and service,” said Jennifer Maher, chief executive officer at TechForce Foundation. “We’re excited about working with the Ford Fund and Ford Dealer partners to help create a path to careers students may not have considered before.”
Foord said this program supports its greater mission to prepare, empower and grow the future workforce needed to service vehicles and customers to prepare for an electrified future including:
- A focus on a STEM-based curriculum in combination with hands-on learning;
- Reaching students early and reinforcing the opportunities available for upward professional and economic advancement;
- Collaboration with dealers through their involvement in participating schools, career fairs, shadowing days, mentoring, and internships.