Ford Fund, Dealers Invest $2 Million in Scholarships for Future Auto Techs

Mar 04, 2024

If your vehicle is taking longer in service, it may be due to the nationwide shortage of automotive technicians. To put things in perspective, the industry needs 400,000 technicians by 2027, and post-secondary schools are only graduating 33,000 students per year. 

To help train the next generation of automotive technicians and help build a sense of community, Ford Fund and Ford Dealers in ten regions are investing $2 million in scholarship funding to current or future students pursuing automotive technology degrees or certificates.

“As vehicles become more advanced, we need highly skilled technicians to maintain and service them,” said Chief Dealer Engagement Officer Elena Ford. “Partnering with our dealers to invest in these students helps create job opportunities, shapes the future of our communities and drives growth in our industry.” 

The $5,000 scholarships – open to individuals pursuing automotive technology degrees or certificates in the ten selected regions – cover various costs associated with their education and may be used for all costs of attendance, including tuition, tools, living expenses and transportation.

The Ford Auto Tech scholarships will be administered by TechForce Foundation, a national nonprofit organization committed to supporting students pursuing technical education and careers as professional technicians.  During the students’ educational journey and career transition, Ford Dealers in each region will serve as a support system, offering advice, onsite training and career guidance.

Now in its second year, the Ford Auto Tech Scholarship creates opportunities for rewarding, well-paying careers as the industry moves toward electrification and software integration.

 Alston Abts Click to Enlarge

"When I was younger, my dad and I would work on his old truck together all the time. As a kid, I didn't understand what I was doing, but I liked helping and learning the things he was teaching me,” said Alston Abts, a Lawson State Community College student and one of last year’s scholarship recipients. “Today, being an automotive technician is my dream career because I get to do something I love doing and learning about.” 

Makenna Enga Click to Enlarge

For Makenna Enga, also a 2023 scholarship recipient, the award provided her with an opportunity to break free from traditional career paths.

"I am extremely passionate about pursuing a technical education in automotive technology for many reasons. To start with, a pretty obvious one is the lack of women in the industry,” said Enga, a student from UTI-Phoenix. “No one in my family has studied a trade, but I believe I was made for it."

Last year’s program directly resulted in 200 students receiving $1 million in scholarships across four regions: Greater Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Phoenix.

Students eligible for the 2024 Ford Auto Tech Scholarship must be pursuing a degree in one of the following regions: Greater Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Phoenix, Kansas City, Memphis, Miami, Seattle and Cincinnati. The application process is open from March 4 through August 31, 2024. Scholarships will be awarded on a rolling basis and applications reviewed as received.

To learn more about the 2024 Ford Auto Tech Scholarship, or to share information with an aspiring technician to who may want to apply, please click here.