TX Student Named Grand Prize Winner in Annual FutureTechs Rock Awards

Published March 8, 2023

Taeler Coverdale, a collision repair student at Universal Technical Institute in Houston, TX, has been named the grand prize winner in 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. Learn more about the 2023 grand prize and category winners here.

“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. The student with the most votes was Coverdale, earning her the grand prize 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 TechForce Executive Director Jennifer Maher. "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 more than $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. 30% 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, MN
  • Aviation---Teresa Sacca, Antelope Valley College, Lancaster, CA
  • Collision Repair---Taeler Coverdale, Universal Technical Institute, Houston, TX
  • Diesel Off-Road---Nicholas Isaly, Lenawee ISD TECH Center, Adrian, MI
  • Diesel On-Road---Andrew Younkin, Western Technical College, El Paso, TX
  • Marine and Watercraft---Benjamin Pooler, Portland Arts & Technology High School, Buxton, ME
  • Motorcycle and ATV---Everrett Novak, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, Phoenix, AZ
  • Motorsports---Benjamin Delauter, NASCAR Technical Institute, Mooresville, NC
  • Restoration---Tyler Renken, Central Carolina Community College, Bunnlevel, NC
  • Welding and CNC---Connor Essary, St. Clair TEC, St. Clair, MI

The FutureTechs Rock Awards are part of TechForce’s workforce development campaign to inspire and support tomorrow’s workforce of technicians. TechForce also created the first and only social network designed and gamified for professional technicians and tech students to connect with each other, employers and schools (TechForce.org). The transportation community is supporting it with content and using it to learn, connect, find events and explore job opportunities while competing for prizes and leaderboard status.

Source: TechForce Foundation

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