TechForce Foundation has named Tina Smith as its director of national partnership, responsible for developing corporate partnerships throughout the transportation industry that aim to solve the tech shortage and fuel the pipeline of tomorrow’s workforce of qualified technicians. Smith will work within the full spectrum on the transportation industry, including the automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, marine, motorsports, aviation, aftermarket and restoration segments.
TechForce, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) with the mission to champion students to and through their education and into careers as professional technicians, recently launched its industry-wide initiative, FutureTech Success. The campaign harnesses the resources of the industry to raise the bar for future techs in communities across the country. For example, donated training aids and employee volunteers will be activated to enhance local high school shop classes and afterschool programs; national marketing will tell the story of the “new collar” career and negate the outdated, grease-monkey image; and one-stop-shop resource hubs for future techs, parents, educators and industry will make readily available the tools required to help students pursue the pathway.
In her new role with the Foundation, Smith will drive the effort to identify new corporate partners willing to sponsor the FutureTech Success campaign or to donate to TechForce Foundation’s scholarship and grant program, including its Veterans at Work: Military Transition Campaign, its Accelerate Tuition Scholarships and its Life Happens Emergency Relief funds.
“Who better than Tina to tell the story of our future techs,” said Jennifer Maher, CEO of TechForce Foundation. “Tina herself pursued a technical education, made possible thanks to a generous scholarship, became a technician, turned wrenches, and knows what it’s like to be a female technician in the industry.”
Smith went on to pursue new jobs and opportunities in the industry, and says she is looking forward to giving back, championing the youth of the next generation, and helping the industry she loves prosper in its workforce development efforts. “Tina has the authenticity and passion we sought in someone who can walk the talk of the TechForce story, and help companies realize how they can be part of the solution,” added Maher.
Previously, Smith served as the national sales manager for the traditional U.S. aftermarket with Lumileds, where she managed its U.S. aftermarket sales program, sales team and independent sales representative organizations. Prior to that, she worked at NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) Inc. from 2013-’18, starting as the product services manager and advancing to become the groups manager for the North American buying groups. She was responsible for implementing sales and marketing activities within the major automotive aftermarket buying groups.
Before NGK, Smith was the lead engineering technician for three years at Gates Corp., providing technical leadership and direction within the management and engineering teams. Smith began her automotive career at Yazaki North America and served the company for nine years as an application engineer and benchmark technician.
Smith holds an Associate degree in automotive technology from Sinclair Community College, an auto mechanics certificate from D. Russel Lee Vocational School, and is a first year Chrysler Apprenticeship Technician (CAP) graduate. She was an AASA – Emerging Leader Member 2015-‘16 and a member of the Women in Auto Care – Educational Committee 2014-’17.