As part of its “Ignite” summer program, Universal Technical Institute (UTI) will offer free training to high school juniors in “fundamental transportation technician skills,” including collision repair.
Participating students will receive “intensive, hands-on training” and will be prepared for testing to receive UTI course credit once enrolled, according to the institute.
Offered at each of UTI’s 12 campuses nationwide, the program will consist of a series of three-week courses based on the same curriculum offered in the programs that full-time UTI students complete. Students can choose from collision repair, automotive, diesel or motorcycle training.
The Ignite curriculum emphasizes the high-tech nature of today’s transportation industry, giving students a chance to explore career opportunities in the transportation field while meeting UTI graduates and local employers, UTI noted.
“There is tremendous need across the transportation industry for trained technicians,” said Kim McWaters, UTI president and CEO. “Our free Ignite program introduces a new generation of young students to a UTI education and gives them a taste for the fulfilling career opportunities that await in the transportation field. We had great success with Ignite as a pilot program in 2017, and now we’re excited to bring this unique training to the rest of our UTI campuses.”
In 2017, UTI successfully piloted the Ignite program at three campuses: Avondale, Ariz., Houston and Orlando, Fla. Each of the programs had strong interest among students, a large percentage of whom also indicated their intention to return to UTI as a full-time student upon graduating high school, according to UTI.
Industry demand for trained transportation technicians continues to accelerate. Most recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tripled its estimate for the number of transportation technicians needed nationwide by 2026. According to new projections, there will be more than 1.2 million job openings in the automotive, diesel and collision repair industries. To help reach that total, the transportation industry will have to fill more than 120,000 technician job openings annually on average.
“For technicians with the right skills and training, employment opportunities are abundant across the automotive and diesel industry,” McWaters said. “The Ignite program allows us to expose more prospective students to a UTI education – strengthening our enrollment pipeline and helping us deliver the trained technicians our employer partners need.”
The Ignite program is accepting applications across UTI’s 12 campuses. For more information or to enroll, visit https://uti.edu/programs/ignite.