CHICAGO, IL – The Greater Chicago Ford dealers have teamed up with the Ford Fund to contribute $1 million in scholarship funding to support students pursuing careers as automotive technicians.
The investment aims to help meet the demand for highly skilled technicians across the industry by reducing barriers for students who wish to pursue careers in automotive service and technology.
The scholarship program is designed to be need-based and will be available to students attending 15 colleges and universities in Illinois, including Kankakee Community College, where students may leverage the scholarship to cover the cost of tuition and attendance.
This scholarship program will support students in four markets with significant need: Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Dallas.
Despite the automotive industry’s annual demand for 258,000 new technicians, there are only 48,000 graduates from technician programs each year nationwide. This shortage of technicians is a challenge that the Ford Auto Tech Scholarship program aims to address.
“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.
The scholarship program will be facilitated by the TechForce Foundation, a national nonprofit that supports students through their education and into careers as professional technicians. Elena Ford, Chief Customer Experience Officer, highlighted the significance of this scholarship program as the industry moves toward electrification. “As we move toward an electrified future, these career opportunities are exciting and require skilled technicians who are proficient in STEM related study,” she said.
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. Applications are open now and due by June 30. The scholarship will be applied to a student’s school tuition account and may be used for all cost of attendance, including tuition, tools, living expenses, and transportation.
This scholarship program will not only help foster diversity in the automotive industry but will also create economic opportunities for students in need. For more information and to apply for the Ford Auto Tech Scholarship opportunity, students can visit www.TechForce.org/FordFund.