TechForce Announces Grand Prize Winner of FutureTechs Rock Awards

Collision Student Wins Grand Prize in FutureTechs Rock Awards

Taeler Coverdale, a collision repair student at UTI, has been named as grand prize winner in the TechForce Foundation’s 2023 FutureTechs Rock Awards.

The TechForce Foundation announced that Taeler Coverdale, a collision repair student at Universal Technical Institute in Houston, Texas, has been named as grand prize winner in the TechForce Foundation’s 2023 FutureTechs Rock Awards. TechForce created this prestigious award to honor aspiring technicians and recognize students with a promising future in the transportation industry. 

“This is amazing! I’m in utter shock right now,” said Coverdale upon learning she is this year’s grand prize winner. “Thank you for the opportunity … being an example for other women … that’s what I want, that’s why I’m in this. I want to make a difference for women in this industry — if a girl sees that she might think she’s able to do this as a career.” 

More than 4,000 TechForce followers voted in this year’s awards. Coverdale received the most votes, earning her the grand prize from among 10 contenders who were all category winners. Coverdale was previously named as the collision repair category winner. 

“Role models like Taeler show students that there is a place for them in technician careers,” said Jennifer Maher, executive director of TechForce. “As we all know, young people are so much more likely to pursue a career if they see people like them succeeding in it. Women account for less than 3% of transportation techs, and so welcoming women into the trade is critical to addressing the ongoing technician shortage. TechForce is proud to celebrate Taeler and the new generation of women joining the industry.”

As the grand prize winner, Coverdale will receive a $1,000 TechForce scholarship and $4,000 in prizes from TechForce and sponsors including Advance Auto Parts; AutoZone; Cengage Learning; CRC Industries; Mighty Auto Parts; New Ford Tech; Nissan; Snap-on Industrial; Volvo; and WD-40 Company. 

Through the FutureTechs Rock Awards, TechForce and its partners have awarded 50 transportation technician students with over $67,000 in prizes and scholarships since 2019. The awards are made possible because of generous donations from people and companies that believe everyone should have a chance to succeed. Each of the 10 category winners has been awarded $1,500 in prizes. Category winners were selected by industry-expert judges from hundreds of high school and post-secondary nominations, representing 182 campuses across 38 states. Thirty percent of the category winners were women, a significant proportion considering only 3% of professional technicians are women. 

The 10 category winners represent seven states and 10 schools, with each being recognized in a distinct technical education discipline:

Automotive

Abbie Vetse, Hennepin Technical College, Maple Grove, Minn.

Aviation

Teresa Sacca, Antelope Valley College, Lancaster, Calif.

Collision Repair

Taeler Coverdale, Universal Technical Institute, Houston, Texas

Diesel Off-Road

Nicholas Isaly, Lenawee ISD TECH Center, Adrian, Mich.

Diesel On-Road

Andrew Younkin, Western Technical College, El Paso, Texas

Marine and Watercraft

Benjamin Pooler, Portland Arts & Technology High School, Buxton, Maine

Motorcycle and ATV

Everrett Novak, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, Phoenix, Ariz.

Motorsports

Benjamin Delauter, NASCAR Technical Institute, Mooresville, N.C.

Restoration

Tyler Renken, Central Carolina Community College, Bunnlevel, N.C.

Welding and CNC

Connor Essary, St. Clair TEC, St. Clair, Mich.

For more information on the 2023 grand prize and category winners, visit TechForce.org/FTR23Winners.

For more information on the TechForce Foundation, visit techforce.org.  

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