Wisconsin Firestone Mechanic Earns TechForce 'Die Hard' Award

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Erik Craddock, an auto technician at Firestone Complete Auto Care in Appleton, Wis., is one of five auto techs recognized recently by TechForce Foundation in the foundation's inaugural "Techs Rock" contest.

Scottsdale-based TechForce, a non-profit organization promoting careers in the transportation industry, sought to recognize working technicians who are striving to mentor and inspire the next generation of technicians, bringing excellence to their workplaces and communities, and demonstrating passion and commitment to the profession.

Besides Mr. Craddock, who earned the foundation's "Die Hard Tech" honor, the other winners were:

Pay It Forward — Michael Cole, Kunes Country Ford, Delavan, Wis.; Rookie of the Year — Andrew Fields, Rob Sight Ford, Kansas City, Mo; Outstanding Mentor — Shane Conley, Suzuki Motors of America, Brea, Calif.; and Barrier Buster — Wayne Quiggins, Southern Cycles, Apopka, Fla.

Each winner received a $1,000 tool voucher sponsored by Snap-on Inc. Mr. Cole also was judged the grand prize winner, receiving roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations to Scottsdale to enjoy Arizona Auto Week 2019 and be honored at the annual TechForce Foundation Summit.

The finalists were selected via online voting during December from among more than 250 techs nominated; more than 30,000 votes were cast, TechForce said.

This story first appeared on

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