Supporting the Next Generation of Automotive & Motorcycle Technicians Succeed

The TechForce Scholarship Ambassador Program, which NorthBridge developed for the TechForce Foundation, is providing scholarships and coaching support to students who will be the future automotive, diesel, and motorcycle technicians that keep our country moving.  NorthBridge designed the program at the request of the TechForce Foundation.  Program services began in May at the Avondale Campus of Universal Technical Institute (UTI), and the Phoenix campus of Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI).  Over the last 10 months, the program has helped 60+ students succeed, and the data collected will be used to guide the TechForce Foundation in their work. The TechForce Foundation encourages and supports students to and through their technical education, and into careers in the AUTOMOTIVE, DIESEL, COLLISION REPAIR, MOTORCYCLE, MARINE, NASCAR and other transportation industries through SCHOLARSHIPS, GRANTS, CAREER DEVELOPMENT and other special programs.

NorthBridge is utilizing proven postsecondary onboarding practices and an executive functioning curriculum, delivered by a Success Coach who provides intense initial support for TechForce Foundation selected cohorts of promising students. Support continues throughout the student’s program with support from the Success Coach and through a peer to peer mentoring.  New cohorts start at UTI every three weeks (six weeks at MMI), and Joe Schultz, Success Coach of the TechForce Program said, “students here live their lives three weeks at a time in order to reach their goals.”

Support begins before students arrive on campus, as the program is designed with pre-arrival, and week of arrival components. Students then receive individualized support for weeks. All support focuses on easing the transition and helping them develop the academic resiliency and confidence that will carry them through the program. UTI student De’Ron Roberts said, “The TechForce Ambassador Program, in my opinion, is perfect for students who enjoy mentorship and working with other students to reach the common goal of graduating from UTI with flying colors. The program so far has been very beneficial and it will ensure that students succeed at UTI as long as they participate and stay on the path that the ambassador program paved.”

Students meet monthly for the college success circle workshop, where the student ambassadors share experiences, advice, and support for incoming students. Schultz said that he was humbled by the camaraderie and motivational support that the ambassadors exhibit. The students also see the benefits of this program and how instrumental it is in helping them reach their goals. According to UTI student Michael Sanchez, “this program has not only helped me in school but gave me a new look inside myself that not everyone receives, not only you as a person but the people in the program have been a great help. This program is really a great way to get yourself ahead in school and strive to be the best.”

The program is currently working with over 60 students in 15 cohorts of TechForce Ambassadors, and selection for the next cohorts are already underway.  To date, 96% of Ambassadors are still in school and 56% of them have earned straight A’s.