Greater Chicago Ford Dealers Contribute to $1 Million Scholarship Program to Support Students Pursuing Careers as Automotive Technicians
The Greater Chicago Ford dealers are partnering with the Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, to provide a million dollars in scholarship funding to help support students pursuing careers as automotive technicians.
Chicago is one of four regions contributing to the scholarship program, which will be available to help alleviate barriers to entering auto technician careers across the country. Funding will be facilitated by TechForce Foundation, a national nonprofit supporting students through their education and into careers as professional 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 auto industry’s annual demand for 258,000 new technicians, there are only 48,000 graduates from technician programs each year nationwide.
“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 Greater Chicago Ford dealers to offer this scholarship program means we can 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 cost of attendance, including tuition, tools, living expenses, and transportation.
“The numbers are staggering. Based on the widespread need—not just locally, but across the nation—we feel a sense of responsibility to help educate young people about the benefits of working in a car dealership and help bridge the connection between local schools and our dealer members,” said Jennifer Morand, Co-President, Chicago Automobile Trade Association. “On a local level, our organization represents 400 new-car dealerships who have automotive technician jobs available, and immediately. These jobs are in high demand today and will continue to be for many years to come.”
For more information and to apply for the Ford Auto Tech Scholarship opportunity students can visit www.TechForce.org/FordFund.
Applications are due by June 30, 2023, and applicants will be notified of the results on a rolling basis throughout the spring and summer.
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