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Ford partners with dealers to award $2 million in grants to student technicians

Ford and its dealers are committing $2 million in scholarships to combat the automotive industry’s ongoing technician shortage in partnership with the TechForce Foundation.

The Ford Auto Tech Scholarship will distribute 400 grants worth $5,000 each to students representing 292 education programs across 20 states. This year’s funds are expected to have twice the impact they had last year, during which an investment of $1 million was used to assist 200 students.

The initiative sees three groups coming together to tackle the technician shortage: Ford Fund, the automaker’s philanthropic arm; Ford dealers, who will provide additional support to students in their regions throughout their education; and the TechForce Foundation, the non-profit organization responsible for awarding and distributing the grant money.

Technician students have today through August 31, 2024, to submit an application through the TechForce website. Candidates must attend a program in the Greater Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Phoenix, Kansa City, Memphis, Miami, Seattle, or Cincinnati areas.

In a press release, the car manufacturer estimates the auto industry will need 400,000 service professionals by 2027 due to the increasing technological complexity of modern vehicles. “As vehicles become more advanced, we need highly skilled technicians to maintain and service them,” stated Elena Ford, chief dealer engagement officer at Ford.

Unfortunately, qualified technicians are becoming increasingly difficult to find, an issue exacerbated by ongoing paradigm shifts in the automotive sector. Not only are manufacturers grappling with a transition to zero-emission vehicles, which bring a host of unique service needs, but cars are also becoming more software-reliant, with many models replacing mechanical functionalities with digital features. Rearview mirrors, for instance, are starting to disappear in favor of live-camera feeds, setups that require repair knowledge traditional service programs may not provide.

Programs that make it easier for technicians to receive training can help the industry offset its labor challenges in the short term. However, as the number of fixed-ops professionals exiting the car business continues to mount, more effort will be needed from all corners of the automotive sector to avoid a far more devastating shortage in the near future.

This article was originally published by a www.cbtnews.com . Read the Original article here. .

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