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TechForce Foundation announces grand prize winner in 4th Annual Techs Rock Awards

Daniel McCrum of Gulfport, Miss., is named grand prize winner; five technicians honored for passion and career commitment

Phoenix—TechForce Foundation has announced that technician Daniel McCrum of CarMax in Gulfport, Miss., as the 2022 Techs Rock Awards Grand Prize Winner. TechForce created the award in 2018 to honor professional technicians who mentor and inspire the next generation of techs, bring excellence to their workplaces and communities, and demonstrate passion and commitment to the profession. Meet the full slate of honorees including category and grand prize winners at

Not every student needs to go to a four-year university. TechForce created the Techs Rock Awards to highlight the contributions of technicians in their workplaces and communities and demonstrate to the public that a technical education and career is a viable pathway to success. The awards showcase the benefits of an in-demand technician career to spark students’ interest, and the TechForce Network meets those students where they are with the resources needed to explore and pursue a technical education and career. 

Thousands of TechForce followers weighed in to select McCrum as the grand prize winner from among five category winners in the Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, People’s Choice public vote. He previously won the awards’ Barrier Buster category.

As the grand prize winner McCrum will receive more than $10,000 in total prizes from TechForce and industry partners. Prize sponsors include Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Caliber, Cengage Learning, CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Snap-on Industrial and WD-40 Company.

Since 2018 technicians have received more than $27,000 in prizes. Over $17,500 in prizes are being awarded in the 2022 Techs Rock Awards alone, including:

  • Each category winner (grand prize winner included) received tools, gift cards and other prizes valued at over $1,700.
  • The grand prize winner also receives an all-expenses-paid trip to STX 2024 in Orlando, Fla., valued at $3,000 courtesy of Advance Auto Parts, along with an additional prize package valued at over $5,500.

The five category winners represent less than 1 percent of the nearly 700 technicians nominated. Winners were selected by a panel of expert celebrity judges including Emily Reeves, Flying Sparks Garage; Charles Sanville, The Humble Mechanic; Bogi Lateiner, Bogi’s Garage; Pete Meier, Motor Age Magazine; and Julia Landauer, Julia Landauer Racing.

The 2022 category winners represent five states and five companies including one independently owned auto repair shop and one technical school. Each honoree is recognized in one of the Techs Rock Awards’ distinct categories:

  • Barrier Buster — Daniel McCrum, Carmax. The Barrier Buster category recognizes technicians for showing heart and passion in overcoming obstacles to succeed.
  • Die Hard — Joshua Ferrantino, Rodman Ford. The Die Hard category recognizes industry superfans who live, breathe, sleep, and thrive in their career.
  • Outstanding Mentor — Frank Mendoza, Flow Nissan & NASCAR Technical Institute. The Outstanding Mentor category recognizes techs for providing support and guidance to the industry’s future technicians.
  • Pay it Forward — Zachary Carlsen, Northern Auto Repair. The Pay it Forward category recognizes technicians for being a community advocate and inspiring the next generation of techs.
  • Rookie of the Year — Kael Gortat, Carmax. The Rookie of the Year category recognizes up-and-coming tech professionals with under two years’ professional experience.

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