New Ford Tech Inspires Future Technicians Through Drag Racing Program Sponsorship

Ford embarked on its fifth year as a sponsor of the National Hot Rod Association’s Youth and Education Services (YES) Program when the 2023 NHRA season got underway in early March. The YES Program demonstrates how S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is applied in real-world careers in the automotive arena.

NFT News March 22 2023 The YES Program is an ideal fit for New Ford Tech, a collection of initiatives focused on attracting and training the next generation of Ford and Lincoln automotive technicians. YES Program events provide a unique opportunity for Ford and Lincoln dealers to meet with high school and college students at NHRA racetracks across the country. There will be 15 YES events in 2023 (listed below), each of which takes place on a Thursday or Friday morning that leads into an NHRA national race.

The NHRA coordinates with schools in the region of each of its races to invite students to learn about the automotive industry. New Ford Tech uses these events to increase awareness of the career opportunities and education programs available to aspiring automotive technicians. NHRA Funny Car driver and Ford dealership owner Bob Tasca III speaks to students about his experience in motorsports and business operations. Additionally, Ford dealerships and Ford-affiliated technical schools attend the events to inform students about the training and skills that technicians need. In 2022, more than 16,000 students across 13 cities attended YES Program events.

"The need (for technicians) is unbelievable,” said Robert Saunders, Estes Ford (Indiana) Service Manager. “I tell my employees and future employees that if you have the proper education and training, then you have a job wherever you want to go. I promise you that if you pick up the phone and tell someone you’re board certified or master’s certified, then you will have a job. They will pay you to move and they might even put some money in your pocket in the process. The demand for technicians is ever-growing and it’s definitely a rewarding career."

Thanks to the relationships started at YES events over the past four years, many YES alumni have been hired by Ford and Lincoln dealerships as technicians and for other roles.

Video: Bob Tasca Speaks to Students at YES Program

2023 YES Program Events

March 10 - Gainesville, Fla.
March 24 - Phoenix, Ariz.
March 31 - Pomona, Calif.
April 14 - Las Vegas, Nev.
April 28 - Charlotte, N.C.
May 19 - Chicago, Ill.
June 2 - Epping, N.H.
June 9 - Bristol, Tenn.
Sept. 1 - Indianapolis, Ind.
Sept. 15 - Reading, Pa.
Sept. 22 - Charlotte, N.C.
Sept. 29 – Madison, Ill./St. Louis, Mo.
Oct. 12 - Dallas, Texas
Oct. 26 - Las Vegas, Nev. (Thursday)
Nov. 9 - Pomona, Calif. (Thursday)

NHRA’s YES Program is the only full-time education program in motorsports providing quality educational content and activities for schools and youth organizations nationwide.

Students and schools interested in participating in a YES Program event can contact the NHRA. Ford dealerships and technical colleges can contact their local field service engineer for more information. The YES Program does not operate in the summer when school is not in session, however, there is an online YES program that is available.

Also Read: Weber Ford Granite City Finds Success Developing Techs

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