Wisconsin Automotive & Truck Education Association

Driving the Training That Keeps You Running!

WATEA's Impact

WATEA's Impact

WATEA is proud of its long history working with regional partners to improve not just the transportation industry workforce but also the lives of countless people living and working across central and northern Wisconsin.

Learn more about how WATEA has impacted individuals and organizations across the region with its innovative programs and collaborative spirit, then explore the ways you can help support WATEA and keep changing lives!

Help Us Make an Impact!

WATEA Partner & Client Testimonials

“My family & I deeply appreciate your sponsorship for the upcoming school year. Truthfully I could not continue my Associates degree without your scholarship. I look forward to being top of my class again this year.”

PL - Scholarship Recipient

“I am eternally grateful that you chose me to be a recipient for the Foundation of WATDA/WATEA. This opportunity provides me with the option to focus on my continuing education, without having the financial burden of student loans. With the gift of your donation, I will be able to pursue my dream of becoming a Diesel Technician.”

DH - Scholarship Recipient

“Thank you so much for helping me into a vehicle I enjoy driving. Getting to work, school and my son’s functions easily is a dream come true. It is sometimes hard to believe I deserve such nice things, so I’ve taken good care of it!”

JL - Wheels to Work Client

“I can’t thank you enough for this vehicle… I now work in Merrill at a manufacturer making $17.25/hr. I started this journey taking cabs to a job paying $15/hr. It changed my life.”

JM - Wheels to Work Client

“During my career, I have been very proud to tell so many in our schools and community about the amazing work WATEA does to support workforce development initiatives and the scholarships related to automotive, truck, and transportation careers for high school and college students. As an educator, I deeply respect the way you put aside your business differences to unite and work together to create an indomitable force focused on providing students scholarships, young men and women a Registered Apprenticeship program for the transportation industry, and those in need a vehicle that enables them to work! Please, always remember that each of you truly make a difference in so many lives through your work with WATEA!”

Brad Peck, Principal - Wausau East High School (retired 2020)

“WATEA has given my clients and members of our community an opportunity to thrive, to achieve success, and to be self-sufficient. Without the WATEA organization many who long for stability would continue to struggle… to me and to so many others, they are an invaluable community resource.”

Erica Territo, Women's Community

“I work with WATEA because of the clientele they serve. Working at the Literacy Council I see many people in need and not knowing how to get out of their predicament. I am working with a Wheels to Work client who was so happy for the opportunity to get a vehicle because he lives 15 miles from work. He has not missed a day of work since he has been helped by WATEA. The client and I say thanks!”

Connie Heidemann, McLit

“I’ve been working with WATEA for nearly a decade. WATEA is a critical component to area educational institutions, provides a much needed community service through Wheels to Work, and plays an integral role in developing a future pipeline of skilled employers our regional automotive industry could not survive without. Their economic and socioeconomic impact to the community is much needed and invaluable. It’s truly the greatest led non-profit organization I’ve ever worked with.”

Derek Heikkinen, Crystal Finishing

“I have been a WATEA volunteer since the young age of 13. I helped coordinate goodie bags and giveaways and helped manage hole’s raffles at various golf outings. Even at 13 I could see the passion and the impact WATEA has had on students looking to get into the automotive and transportation careers and the value and support it creates for our community and our members. I am so excited to have a larger impact and help this organization continue to grow and thrive in a more direct level.”

Janessa Brickner-Ress, Brickner Family Auto and WATEA Board Member