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New ‘Techs for Tomorrow’ scholarship offers $2,500 scholarships and expense-paid trip to SEMA

Initiative promotes the refinish industry with its opportunities for high-paying, stable careers as painters and body shop technicians

Southfield, Mich.—Five winners will get to experience the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas through a program that encourages up-and-coming talent. Working in partnership with TechForce Foundation, BASF is now soliciting nominations for its “Techs for Tomorrow.” 

“One of the biggest challenges facing the collision repair industry in the next few years is a labor crunch. We need to find talented people to fill the pipeline as jobs open up,” said Joel Johnson, BASF’s vice president of Refinish Coatings. “Techs for Tomorrow is our way to get the next generation excited about the refinish industry with its opportunities for high-paying, stable careers as painters and body shop technicians.”

“Techs for Tomorrow” is part of BASF’s “Talent for Tomorrow” program that includes scholarships, mentoring, apprenticeships, paint program support for technical schools and initiatives such as Operative Talent focused on attracting talent. “By supporting these students and their technical education, we’re working to make our industry’s workforce sustainable,” said Johnson.

“Techs for Tomorrow” winners will get the chance to walk the floor at the SEMA show, network with a BASF Refinish team member as well as custom vehicle builders to meet and engage with industry experts. The award also includes a $2,500 scholarship to continue their education in the collision repair industry. Five finalists will get a $500 scholarship.

“TechForce Foundation is excited to expand our partnership with BASF to offer the ‘Techs for Tomorrow’ program,” said TechForce CEO Jennifer Maher. “By offering scholarships, mentorship, and exciting ways to engage with industry, we’re not just shaping careers — we’re nurturing students’ dreams, fostering innovation, and building a resilient workforce that will drive the entire mobility industry forward.”

Nominees must be 18 years or older, enrolled in an accredited collision training program, able to travel to Las Vegas during the SEMA show, and must submit their application through TechForce Foundation.

For more information or apply, visit

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