2017 Top Wrench Competition
Retired Seargeant Joe Marshall, pictured with former East Tennessee Foundation Board Member Rick Fox, launched Top Wrench in 1991, in partnership with military service people at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base. It’s the convergence of his desire to eliminate drugs and to motivate and support students in high school vocational programs (with their largely unrecognized special skills and talents), as well as his love for young people. Top Wrench emphasizes drug-free living as a way to help students achieve their life goals.
The 12 teaching objectives of Top Wrench are to: learn safety, build life skills (hard work, promptness, and regular attendance), develop problem solving skills, initiate creative thinking, build team work, increase communication skills, develop a career strategy, build trust, develop the ability to attend to detail, assume and demonstrate responsibility, work and live in a drug free environment, and have fun.
Since 2002, Top Wrench has been supported by numerous Youth Endowment grants from the East Tennessee Foundation because of the extraordinary impact the program has on many youth in our region. Top Wrench culminates in a one-day competition at the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base every spring. Students from 10-15 schools representing 10+ counties are invited to compete in timed wheel-changing, engine trouble-shooting, and other auto-related challenges. Winners will receive scholarships to Tennessee Technology Center, where they take an 18-month course in auto mechanics.
2017 Top Wrench Competition took place on April 6. First place winning teams were: Union County High School (Computer Control); Cocke County High School (Static Engine); Union County High School (Pit Crew Challenge); Heritage High School (Custom Paint); South-Doyle High High School (Welding) and Halls High School (Valve Cover Race).