Roadtrip Nation Accelerates Career Exploration With New Documentary ‘Changing Gears’ on Public Television

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Three Aspiring Technicians Share the Ride of a Lifetime While Exploring Opportunities in the Automotive and Diesel Industries

Roadtrip Nation, renowned for its New York Times best-selling career guide and award-winning documentary television series, has officially released its new one-hour documentary "Changing Gears". Presented by KQED, Changing Gears made its public television debut last week, with broadcasts planned nationwide. To watch the film now, or to find air times for public television broadcasts near you, visit: changinggearsfilm.com.

The film follows three aspiring technicians on a 1,000-mile journey that introduces them to legendary car enthusiasts and automotive and diesel technicians, including Roger Penske, founder and chairman of the Penske Corporation; Sarah “Bogi” Lateiner, host of the television show "All Girls Garage" on Velocity; and Dennis McCarthy, picture car coordinator for the "Fast & Furious" movies. Along the way, their conversations shed light on the most exciting aspects of what it means to be an automotive or diesel technician.

“At Roadtrip Nation, our goal is to empower people to define their own roads in life,” said Mike Marriner, cofounder of Roadtrip Nation. “This film showcases real stories of leaders and change-makers who have carved their own pathways as technicians, while also highlighting technological advances in the industry, challenging stereotypical notions and stigmas of the trade, and looking at career opportunities in the field.”

Rapid advances in transportation technology mean today’s technicians must have an evolving set of high-tech skills. The pace of technological change, in tandem with the technician shortage already facing the nation, has led many in the field to believe that the number of students entering training programs won’t be enough to meet the future needs of this growing industry. "Changing Gears"—made possible by the support of Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (UTI) and TechForce Foundation—strives to increase exposure to the field in an inventive new way, presenting an inspiring exploration of the automotive and diesel industries, and the career opportunities in the technician trade.

“What’s happening in the transportation industry and with technology is exciting. This is an industry that needs a new generation of highly skilled technicians to keep our country moving, and 'Changing Gears' showcases the changing dynamics in this high-tech field, and what’s possible for aspiring techs,” said Kim McWaters, president and chief executive officer of UTI.

“All of us at TechForce Foundation are proud to be a part of this project,” said Jennifer Maher, executive director of TechForce Foundation. “Our goal is to help students get the resources they need to pursue their dreams, and this film offers compelling examples of what’s possible for technicians with a good education.”

The three aspiring technician “road-trippers” featured in the film come from different backgrounds, but share an interest in cars, trucks, and engines:

  • Alexandra, from Marysville, Wash.: Growing up, Alexandra’s summer vacations revolved around taking off-road adventures in her family’s Jeeps and quads. It wasn’t until she took a small-engine repair class in high school that she realized she could get serious about a career as a technician, but she still has concerns about the lack of women she’s seen represented in the field.
  • Michael, from Clatskanie, Ore.: Michael was six years old when his dad finished his passion project: outfitting his 1988 Dodge Ramcharger with the 440 engine he’d built. Even at that young age, the feeling of looking in the rearview mirror and seeing burnout smoke transformed Michael into a gearhead for life. Now he’s searching for a way to create a career doing what he loves.
  • Dylan, from Rock Springs, Wyo.: Both his father and grandfather work as mechanics, so it’s no stretch to say that working on cars is in Dylan’s blood. They were able to enter the field without training or credentials, but Dylan knows that the industry has since become highly technical and competitive, which is why he was the first in his family to pursue a higher education.

You can also learn more about the project on social media channels by following @RoadtripNation, @UTITweet, #UTItech and #TechniciansRoadtrip on Twitter.

About Roadtrip Nation
“What should I do with my life?” For over 15 years, Roadtrip Nation has made it their mission to help individuals answer this question. Through best-selling books, an acclaimed documentary series, and interactive classroom curricula, Roadtrip Nation empowers people to turn what they like into careers they’ll love—and helps them navigate any obstacles encountered along the way. For more information, visit roadtripnation.com and roadtripnation.org.

About Universal Technical Institute, Inc.
Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (NYSE: UTI) is the leading provider of post-secondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. With more than 200,000 graduates in its 52-year history, UTI offers undergraduate degree and diploma programs at 12 campus locations across the United States, as well as manufacturer-specific training programs at dedicated centers. Through its campus-based school system, UTI provides specialized post-secondary education programs under the banner of several well-known brands, including Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Motorcycle Mechanics Institute and Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) and NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech). For more information, visit uti.edu

About TechForce Foundation
TechForce Foundation encourages and supports students to and through their technical education, and into careers in the automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, marine, NASCAR, and other transportation industries through scholarships, grants, career development and other special programs. For more information, visit techforcefoundation.org.

About KQED Public Television
KQED Public Television, the PBS affiliate that serves Northern California, is one of the country’s most popular public television stations. It brings the values of public media to homes around the Bay Area with Emmy Award–winning programming that inspires, informs and entertains, including Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey, Masterpiece Mystery: Sherlock, American Experience, American Masters, Great Performances, POV, Independent Lens, NOVA and Nature. KQED produces local series like Check, Please! Bay Area, KQED NEWSROOM, San Francisco Opera, Truly CA and ImageMakers, as well as popular programs for national broadcast such as Film School Shorts, Essential Pépin and QUEST. KQED also distributes programming to public media stations across the country including The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, Roadtrip Nation and Joanne Weir’s Gets Fresh. For more information, please visit kqed.org/tv.

About American Public Television
American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America’s public television stations since 1961. Since 2004, APT has distributed approximately half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new program titles per year are prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies, including For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots, A Ripple of Hope, Rick Steves' Europe, Newsline, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, Joseph Rosendo's Travelscope, America's Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Lidia's Italy, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, Midsomer Murders, Moyers & Company, Doc Martin, Rosemary & Thyme, BBC World News, The Rat Pack: Live and Swingin’, Johnny Mathis: Wonderful, Wonderful! and John Denver: The Wildlife Concert. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched and nationally distributed Create® – the TV channel featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming. APT is also a partner in the WORLD™ channel expansion project including its web presence at WORLDchannel.org. For more information about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org. For more information on Create, visit CreateTV.com.

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Kelsey Cox
Roadtrip Nation
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Universal Technical Institute
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