JOIN OUR Founders Club
SUPPORT OUR MISSION AND MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE LIVES OF FUTURE TECHNICIANS.
The Piston Foundation is working to end the skilled worker shortage in the collector car industry. We are creating career paths for young people with a passion for cars and the desire to learn a trade.
Essential to our success are leading car enthusiasts who are making significant and enduring commitments to our mission. Their gifts, support, and advice are helping pave the way for the next generation of auto restoration technicians.
A Familiar Car Story
You love cars and the culture that drives them. The automobiles you own, collect, and maintain are treasured works of art and history.
But imagine if one day, you call your local auto restoration shop to schedule some work and to your dismay, you find not only can’t the owner fit you in, but he’s retiring and closing up shop permanently. Everywhere you look, auto restoration shops are under pressure and all for the same reason: they can’t find skilled workers.
A Car Community Problem
Car culture has a massive following. Enthusiasts pour a collective average of $100 billion into the hobby each year. But while these enthusiasts and automotive companies give generously to many good causes, less than $4 million a year is given back to fund skilled trade education and workforce development programs needed by the collector car industry.
As a result, it’s estimated that for every 20 job openings, there is only one restoration technician graduating from a training program. Money and public interest in the car community aren’t being directed where they need to go. Young people with the interest and aptitude to excel as restoration technicians aren’t aware of the career opportunities or see no path into the industry.
For every 20 job openings, there is only 1 technician graduating from a training program.
The Solution Needs All of Us
The Piston Foundation is working to align the interests of car enthusiasts and industry to unlock the funding and resources needed to educate and train a new generation of collector car technicians.
We’re creating awareness, removing barriers, and making automotive careers more accessible through our scholarship and apprenticeship programs.
The Impact You Can Make
The effects that scholarships and apprenticeships can have are profound. For every $5,000 raised, one future restoration technician will have the funding needed to get a real hands-on trade education.
Removing financial barriers and providing access to education allows everyone with a passion for cars and the desire to learn the trade to pursue a career as a restoration technician. Particularly women and minorities who are underrepresented in the auto restoration trades.
The Piston Foundation depends on the generous contribution, support, and advice of Founders Club members. Each Founder has made a significant and enduring commitment to skilled trade education that will help pave the way for the next generation of auto restoration technicians. You can join the club.
- Kent S. Bain
- Thomas VG Brown
- Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation
- Driving La Carrera
- Ann Smith Finn
- Jim Fuchs
- Keith Goggin
- Peter Greenfield
- Audrey and Martin Gruss Foundation
- Richard Kresch
- Charles Mallory
- Robert P. Minnick
- Gioel Molinari
- Todd Morici
- William H. Pitt Foundation
- David Porter
- William Dodge Rueckert
- Peter G. Sachs
- Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation
- Harvey Siegel
- Ted and Shannon Skokos Foundation
- Mayo T. Smith
- Murray L. Smith
- Melani and Rob Walton
- Tony and Lulu Wang
- Arthur K. Watson III
- Roger L. Werner
Become a Founders Club Member
The Founders Club is a unique opportunity to help the Piston Foundation in an important and defining way. For donations beginning at $5,000 you’ll be recognized as a founding member of our organization. But more importantly, you’ll be invited to be part of our team by sharing your advice, helping us grow our network, and being a champion for our mission in your car community.
Your contribution will make a positive impact. With it, many young students can achieve their dream of becoming great automotive technicians. As a Founder, you can feel proud to join the ranks of like-minded individuals who wish to see the collector car industry thrive.
Launched in January of 2021, we are proud to have received a Gold Transparency seal from Guidestar in our first year of operations. Read our 2021 Annual Report and review our 2021 financial reporting.