Penske Truck Leasing donated a specially equipped 26-foot Freightliner M2 box truck to house and transport the TechForce Foundation Mobile STEM Career Center.
The TechForce Mobile STEM Career Center is a traveling hands-on exhibit designed to engage Gen Z students and help them discover a career path as professional technicians in the transportation field. The Mobile STEM Career Center activities include a pit stop challenge to have student race to change tires, a game to match fasteners to wrenches, viewing a projection of a virtual V-8 engine, building functioning circuitry, demonstrations, model building, coding and other events and training.
“Although we developed the STEM career activities over the past few years, we’ve been limited by our ability to deploy them – these are big and heavy activities. This Penske truck makes us highly mobile, and we are looking forward to hitting the road in 2022,” TechForce CEO Jennifer Maher said in a press release. “The real reward for us is when we get to see these young people light up as they discover their skills and how much they enjoy these activities which can lead to considering a rewarding career as a transportation tech.”
Part of TechForce’s national workforce development initiative, the center can be deployed for indoor or outdoor activities and can scale from several hands-on activities to more than a dozen. It features a built-in exterior video wall as well as retractable awnings and two large free-standing shade covers. It also serves as a mobile billboard.
“Technicians are a key component of keeping the supply chain in motion by servicing existing diesel engines and the emerging EV technologies. Investing in the next generation of technicians is vital to our business and industry,” said Art Vallely, president of Penske Truck Leasing. “Our ability to configure this vehicle to fit the Mobile STEM Center’s needs was the perfect opportunity for us to align with our continued pledge to support TechForce and its efforts to engage with future technicians.”