Universal Technical Institute (UTI) is launching Ignite, a free program to train high school juniors in fundamental automotive and diesel technician skills. Participating students receive intensive, hands-on training and are prepared for testing to receive UTI course credit once enrolled. Ignite will be offered at the Rancho Cucamonga campus and each of UTI’s 12 campuses nationwide.
“We’re seeing significant demand for UTI graduates across the transportation sector, and our employer partners tell us they need more trained technicians,” said Roger Speer, president of Universal Technical Institute – Rancho Cucamonga campus. “Our free Ignite program is a great way to both introduce high school students to a UTI education and open their eyes to the many career opportunities available to trained transportation technicians.”
During the program’s two 3-week courses, Ignite participants are given a glimpse into the world of automotive or diesel training – an introductory sample of the programs completed by traditional UTI students. The Ignite curriculum emphasizes the high-tech nature of today’s transportation industry. Students explore career opportunities in the transportation field while meeting UTI graduates and local employers.
In 2017, UTI successfully piloted the Ignite program at three campuses: Avondale, AZ; Houston, TX; and Orlando, FL. 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. Best of all, these students were prepared for testing to receive credit toward future UTI coursework – enabling them to complete a UTI education and begin a career in the transportation sector faster than ever before.
Industry demand for trained transportation technicians continues to accelerate. Most recently, the federal government 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.
“Ignite is a great way to get students excited about these careers and keep them engaged as they make decisions about their path coming out of high school,” said Roger Speer. “If you know a high school junior who has a passion for cars or enjoys working with their hands, encourage them to apply for the Ignite program. They might find a career they love.”
The Ignite program is now accepting applications across UTI’s 12 campuses. For more information or to enroll, visit https://www.uti.edu/programs/ignite.