Ten transportation technician students recognized for outstanding contributions as role models at school and in their communities
Scottsdale, Ariz.—TechForce Foundation has announced that the 2021 FutureTechs Rock Awards Grand Prize Winner is Zander Worm, a high school senior from Copper Country Intermediate School District in Hancock, Mich. As a nonprofit dedicated to helping student techs achieve their professional dreams, TechForce created this award to honor its student technician community and recognize those who have a promising future and will shape the transportation industry. To learn more about the 2021 FutureTechs Rock Awards visit TechForce.org/FutureTechsRock.
Worm was selected as the Motorsports Category Winner by a panel of industry expert judges. His instructors describe his curiosity and interest in vehicles as “profound.” He regularly asks for more information than the course requires, and spends time helping his classmates understand the material. A two-time regional SkillsUSA winner, Worm said he is determined to one day lead Chevrolet’s Corvette team.
“I have been committed to the automotive industry as a whole my entire life,” Worm said. “I’ve been repairing or modifying my personal  Corvette for the past three years and have been able to relate everything I learn with that to autotech and vice versa. I’ve rebuilt a 4-speed transmission from a bunch of scrap parts and swapped it into my originally automatic-equipped Corvette. I’ve also used my autotech experience to design a rig and test a few cylinder head designs for my senior project. I swapped the best performing heads onto my Corvette. I’ve also replaced engines on a few personal vehicles in order to make a profit on sale. I love everything automotive and I’m determined to lead our industry into the future.”
During the May 3-7, People’s Choice public voting, TechForce followers cast thousands of votes among 10 national Category Winners who were selected from more than 400 technician students by a panel of expert judges. This year’s nominees represented more than 75 unique schools in 39 states, including at least 32 high schools and 43 post-secondary schools. More than 40 percent of the 2021 Category Winners and runner-ups were women, a significant proportion when considering only 3 percent of professional technicians are women.
Worm secured the largest number of votes and has been named the Grand Prize Winner, earning a $1,000 TechForce Foundation tuition scholarship and $1,500 in prizes from TechForce sponsors including training and prizes from Advance Auto Parts, a Smart Parts Washer from CRC Industries, a gift card from AutoZone and an iPad Air from Ford Motor Company.
Diesel On-Road Category Winner Brooklyn Booth received the second largest number of votes, a significant accomplishment. All 10 Category Winners including Worm and Booth will receive prizes valued at more than $1,200 from TechForce partners including WD-40, AutoZone, Ford Motor Company, Cengage Learning, Advance Auto Parts, FedEx Freight and CRC Industries.
The 2021 finalists each represented a distinct technical education discipline. The Category Winners include:
- Automotive – Jana Warnke, Clover Park Technical College
- Aviation – Alexander Fernandez, St. Lucie West Centennial High School
- Collision Repair – Alfonso Porter, Universal Technical Institute Houston
- Diesel Off-Road – Wyatt Brink, Meridian High School
- Diesel On-Road (Grand Prize Runner Up) – Brooklyn Booth, Great Oaks High School Live Oaks Campus
- Marine and Watercraft – Aaliyah Hickey, Chattanooga State Community College
- Motorcycle & ATV – Frederick Wooten, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute Phoenix
- Motorsports (Grand Prize Winner) – Zander Worm, Copper Country Intermediate School District
- Restoration – Justin Arace, Central Carolina Community College
- Welding & CNC – Martin Witt, Universal Technical Institute Long Beach
The FutureTechs Rock Awards are part of TechForce Foundation’s workforce development initiative to help inspire and support tomorrow’s workforce of technicians.