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BASF, TechForce partner to offer scholarships & trip to SEMA Show

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BASF Automotive Refinish Coatings and TechForce Foundation have announced a new scholarship that comes with the opportunity for recipients to attend this year’s SEMA Show for free.

Five students will win a $2,500 collision repair industry “Techs for Tomorrow” scholarship. Applications are being accepted through Sept. 30. In addition, five finalists will receive $500 scholarships.

The scholarship is part of BASF’s “Talent for Tomorrow” program that includes scholarships, mentoring, apprenticeships, paint program support for technical schools, and initiatives including “Operative Talent,” which focuses on tech recruitment.

“By supporting these students and their technical education, we’re working to make our industry’s workforce sustainable,” said Joel Johnson, BASF’s Refinish Coatings vice president. “One of the biggest challenges facing the collision repair industry in the next few years is a labor crunch. We need to find talented people to fill the pipeline as jobs open up. ‘Techs for Tomorrow’ is our way to get the next generation excited about the refinish industry with its opportunities for high-paying, stable careers as painters and body shop technicians.”

“Techs for Tomorrow” winners will get the chance to walk the floor at the SEMA Show, network with a BASF Refinish team member and custom vehicle builders, and meet with industry experts.

“TechForce Foundation is excited to expand our partnership with BASF to offer the ‘Techs for Tomorrow’ program,” said TechForce CEO Jennifer Maher. “By offering scholarships, mentorship, and exciting ways to engage with industry, we’re not just shaping careers — we’re nurturing students’ dreams, fostering innovation, and building a resilient workforce that will drive the entire mobility industry forward.”

Nominees must be 18 years or older, enrolled in an accredited collision training program, and able to travel to Las Vegas from Oct. 30-Nov. 1 during the SEMA Show. Applicants must also submit a video of themselves explaining what getting selected would mean to them and their career goals.

To enter, visit

Students of schools that SEMA has vetted and approved to attend the SEMA Show can also receive significantly discounted Full Series Passes to the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) Repairer Driven Education series. Normally $375, the pass is available to students for $50.

Any students and educators who are not currently registered can head to the SEMA Show page, ATTENDEE |, and click on register and then the orange button for educators and students. From there, there’s a self-service path to apply for group or individual registration, and once approved, they’ll be able to access their group account to begin student registration.


Featured image: Archer, a 10-year-old collision repair student is pictured working on a vintage BMW with his Dad. The goal is to have the car restored by his 16th birthday. (Credit: TechForce Foundation)

Students are pictured at a repair facility during a TechForce Student Experience. (Credit: TechForce Foundation)

More information

TechForce looks to bring on 1 million techs over next 5 years

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