Universal Technical Institute (UTI) is bringing back Ignite, a free, summer program designed to give high school juniors an exclusive firsthand look at high-tech careers in the transportation industry. Participating students receive intensive, hands-on technical training and the opportunity to earn credit toward a UTI program. Ignite will be offered at each of UTI’s campuses nationwide, as part of its efforts to address growing workforce demand for skilled technicians.
“We partner with more than 30 manufacturer brands and thousands of employers across the transportation industry and skilled trades, and they consistently tell us they need more trained technicians,” said Kim McWaters, UTI President and CEO. “We’re talking about high-tech, high-paying careers that literally keep our economy moving – and employers are desperate to fill them. The summer Ignite program exposes more students to the career and the power of technical education, showing them firsthand how exciting their training and future can be.”
During the program’s 3-week courses, Ignite participants are given a glimpse into the world of automotive, diesel, collision repair or motorcycle training-an introductory sample of the program completed by full-time UTI students.
The Ignite curriculum emphasizes a career focused education that prepares students for the high-tech ever-evolving transportation industry of the future. Students explore career opportunities in the transportation field, receive hands-on training on today’s latest technologies and learn from UTI graduates and local employers about the high need and earning potential for trained technicians.
UTI launched Ignite nationwide in the summer of 2018, following a successful pilot program at campuses in Avondale, Arizona, Houston, and Orlando the previous year. Each of the programs were at or near capacity, and a large percentage of participants said they planned return to UTI as a full-time student after high school, according to UTI officials. Summer Ignite students are eligible to receive credit toward future UTI courses.
The U.S. Department of Labor projects that, by 2026, there will be more than 1.2 million job openings in the automotive, diesel and collision repair industries. The transportation industry will need to fill more than 120,000 technician job openings annually, on average, to meet that number.