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TechForce and Skills USA unite resources for next generation of technicians

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Announcements | Collision Repair | Education
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TechForce Foundation and SkillsUSA announced a collaboration to share resources for a unified goal of preparing the next generation of technicians, a news release says.

This includes technicians in the skilled aviation, automotive, collision repair, diesel, and welding fields. 

“This nonprofit-to-nonprofit collaboration showcases what can happen when two organizations work together for a common purpose,” says TechForce Foundation CEO Jennifer Maher, in a press release. “Both organizations are committed to the outcome of a skilled, passionate workforce, so ensuring our communications channels cross-pollinate ensures our students, and industry, win. With TechForce having over $4 million in scholarships to award this year alone, and SkillsUSA being active in nearly 5,000 schools and over 21,000 classrooms nationwide, it’s a natural alliance that supercharges results for the next generation of skilled technicians.”

Through the collaboration, SkillsUSA will introduce TechForce Foundation’s career-building resources to its members, the release says. This includes TechForce’s online career hub that connects students to year-round scholarships, events, apprenticeships, and jobs. TechForce also will educate its students and instructors about SkillsUSA membership. The membership offers opportunities for student leadership, professional development, enhanced curriculum, industry networking and partnerships, and real-world experience. 

“SkillsUSA is the No. 1 workforce development organization dedicated to students,” said SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis, in the release. “Our organization stands ready to meet the growing need of connecting business and industry with skilled professionals. SkillsUSA’s vision is to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for career success. With partners like TechForce beside us, it is a true win-win for everyone — students and the American economy alike.”

The SkillsUSA Championships is held next month from Tuesday-Thursday during the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference (NLSC), June 24-28, 2024 in Atlanta.

The release says recent research from TechForce finds three job openings for every tech school graduate today. 

TechForce Foundation’s latest Technician Supply & Demand report found that student graduations in all automotive segments increased in 2022 — more than 5% in collision repair — while filling a shortage of instructors is thought to be one way to pull more students in.

Although 4,725 graduates in 2022 were higher than the 4,487 that graduated in 2021, the difference compared to 2013 was still 45% lower, according to TechForce.

A 2022 survey commissioned by the Collision Engineering Program (CEP) found that there’s a lack of awareness about collision repair careers, although people are open to exploring them. Seventeen percent of respondents said they were “very familiar” with collision repair or engineering, and that those who were familiar with the industry were more likely to pursue a career within it.

“Despite evidence that organizations can achieve more together than apart, committed collaborations have been limited,” the release says. “TechForce Foundation and SkillsUSA will introduce more students and instructors to the existing resources than ever before. The anticipated result is more students enrolling in and completing technical education and a larger, better-prepared next-generation technician workforce.” 



Photo courtesy of Nalinee Supapornpasupad/iStock

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