Supporting a new generation of collision repairers and other trade professionals, WD-40 will donate $25,000 to the TechForce Foundation to fund 40 educational scholarships through a partnership with Advance Auto Parts.
Scholarship recipients will also receive additional resources and career development opportunities through the campaign, called RevUp, TechForce said.
Jennifer Maher, CEO of TechForce, said the scholarship program will help address the “shocking” labor shortage in the skilled trades in the U.S.
“The scholarship program creates a powerful opportunity to allow men and women to pursue a stable and rewarding career in the trades that have built our communities for centuries, while reducing the financial burden,” Maher said in a statement.
According to TechForce’s 2021 Transportation Technician Supply & Demand Report, the transportation technician shortage continues to worsen. While demand for technicians nearly doubled in the past year – from 136,503 in 2020 to 258,000 in 2021 – supply has not kept pace. In 2021, there were five job openings for every tech school graduate; in 2020, the ratio was 3:1.
The report finds that nearly 100,000 new collision technicians will be needed between 2021 and 2025, as baby boomers retire and demand outpaces a declining supply of postsecondary collision technician entrants.
As part of the partnership, from Dec 30 through Feb. 16, Advance will be offering WD-40 Multi-Use Product at a discounted price, with revenue from the promotion expected to help support scholarships.
Advance will help promote the profession by building awareness and engagement through their 4,700-plus stores across the country, using POP displays, signage, and other methods. Advance will also be promoting the campaign through its social channels.
“We are all hopeful that this is wildly successful so we can support even more students through campaigns like this in the future,” said Mike Pressendo, chief marketing and strategy officer at the TechForce Foundation.
Joining in the scholarship effort is Charles Sanville, known as “The Humble Mechanic,” who has matched a $2,500 scholarship from WD-40 to create a $5,000 scholarship as part of the RevUp campaign.
Collision repair students are eligible for TechForce Foundation support. The foundation works closely with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) to reach these students in high school and postsecondary programs.
Want to help support RevUp, and its mission? Among the options, Pressendo said, are these:
- Go to https://techforce.org/RevUp and donate to support more scholarships, or if you know someone who might be curious if a career in collision repair might be right for them, they can explore their dominant learning style to see if looks like a good path for them.
- Join the TechForce network https://jointechforce.org/ that is full of thousands of students and working techs. Techs can network and explore career advancement opportunities. Those who want to give back can sign up to be a mentor or host students/internships at their shops. Prospective techs (students) can apply for support, and participate in free events, competitions, training and career exploration.
- Go to your local Advance Auto Parts store and get your discount on WD-40 beginning this Thursday, Dec. 30.
- Spread the word about how TechForce is here to help https://techforce.org/
Advance and WD-40 are both longstanding financial supporters of TechForce.
About the scholarship program
TechForce Foundation Technician Supply & Demand Report
Featured image: Jennifer Maher, CEO of the TechForce Foundation. (Provided by TechForce)