Tenneco’s global aftermarket and OE ride performance division, DRiV, announced two sponsorships to support Women in Auto Care, a community within the Auto Care Association dedicated to the advancement, education and empowerment of women in the auto care industry; and Northwood University in Midland, Michigan.
Through DRiV’s Garage Gurus initiative, a training and support platform created to address the skills gap and technician shortages facing the automotive service industry, DRiV will provide Women in Auto Care with $35,000 to establish the Garage Gurus Scholarship Program, creating 12 additional scholarships for women working toward a career as a technician. Scholarship winners will be identified within the next few weeks, and ultimately will be decided by representatives from the Women in Auto Care and Garage Gurus teams. Women in Auto Care supports female high school and post-secondary students seeking a career in auto care. Since 2004 with the automotive aftermarket industry’s support, they have distributed more than $560,000 in scholarships to cover tuition, books, and other school-related expenses throughout the 2021 school year.
“Through the Garage Gurus program, we have been a longtime proponent of technician education and development, whether it be through our online, onsite, and on-demand educational training modules, or through our own technician scholarship program,” said Michael Proud, vice president, marketing and commercial operations, Americas, DRiV. “Women in Auto Care’s mission is closely aligned with ours, and we realize the importance of supporting female technicians in the industry as we continue to face technician shortages across the country, especially during these tough times.”
In addition to the challenges faced during the pandemic, Northwood University also coped with a catastrophic flood that destroyed or damaged many of its on-campus facilities in May. As part of its goal to be ready for the fall 2020 academic season, the university embarked on an emergency fundraising campaign to ensure that it could continue its mission to instruct its students. DRiV recognized the importance that Northwood plays in the education and development of students seeking a career in the automotive aftermarket and pledged $50,000 toward this effort.
“Northwood University has been a strong contributor to the success of the automotive aftermarket by educating the future leaders that continue to make our industry strong,” added Proud. “We know that students everywhere are facing even greater hardship than before, and we are happy to support these programs that will not only sustain the industry, but also will help it thrive in the future.”
Launched in 2015, Garage Gurus offers onsite, online and on-demand instruction designed to help front-line automotive service professionals keep pace with the latest vehicle technologies. State-of-the-art Garage Gurus technical education centers are located in 11 U.S. markets: Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Rancho Dominguez, Calif.; South Florida; St. Louis; Suburban Detroit; and Van Nuys, Calif. Garage Gurus similarly will visit repair facilities and educate techs on the latest repair tools, replacement part solutions and technology using its fleet of product technology vans.