Universal Technical Institute is marking the close of its 50th anniversary year by recognizing the driving forces behind its success — its students, graduates, industry partners and team members.
A celebration at its flagship Avondale, Arizona, campus will highlight the dedication of its employees, successful graduates from each of the past five decades and how UTI’s collaboration with industry partners has helped it to deliver exceptional outcomes for its students and fuel the pipeline for skilled technicians.
The Scottsdale-based provider of education for automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians opened its first campus in Phoenix approximately 50 years ago with just two classrooms and 11 students. Today, UTI has 12 campus locations across the United States, and partners with manufacturers of more than 30 of the world’s leading transportation brands, including BMW, Cummins, Ford, Freightliner, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.
These partners help design UTI’s curricula, outfit the school’s labs with the latest vehicles technology and diagnostic tools, support students and help provide a direct pipeline to jobs. This industry-led, job-focused model — which UTI pioneered — uniquely prepares graduates for success by giving them the skills employers want and the high-tech knowledge they need to service and repair the sophisticated digital systems that power today’s vehicles.
In its 50-year history, the school has graduated more than 190,000 students, and four out of five UTI graduates find employment in their field of study, according to the institute.
“For the past five decades, UTI has given hands-on learners an education that is simply not available in traditional academic settings,” said Dr. Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education and a member of the school’s board of directors. “Their quality education programs not only fill the pipeline for technical workers, but also fuel our economy.”
“The demand for highly skilled technicians has never been greater in our industry,” said Michael Berardi, director of service engineering operations for Ford Motor Co. “Our valued partnership with UTI, an industry leader in automotive repair education, has helped to overcome this growing challenge for Ford and its franchised dealers.”
The school’s strong student outcomes and academic rigor have been recognized by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). UTI campuses in Arizona, California and Texas were among only 24 ACCSC-accredited institutions to receive the prestigious Schools of Excellence Award last year. Five other UTI campuses have been honored with the award previously.
UTI will make available more than $15 million in sponsored scholarships in 2016, and recently announced nearly $500,000 in scholarships for members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America this year. UTI also is a major donor, along with companies including Nissan North America, Penske Truck Leasing and Snap-on Tools, to the Universal Technical Institute Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of supporting financially disadvantaged students’ technical education through grants, scholarships and other resources.
In addition, more than 1,000 automotive dealerships, 1,000 diesel truck/equipment dealers and 250 collision repair and service centers offer Tuition Reimbursement and Incentive Programs (TRIP) to UTI graduates.
“I am so inspired by the students who have followed their passion to UTI and made their dreams come true. I am truly appreciative of the support of our industry partners and our dedicated employees, who care so passionately about our students and their success,” said Kim McWaters, UTI’s chairman and CEO. “As I look back on our last 50 years, I am very proud of the work this company has done to help our students build rewarding careers, keep the transportation industry moving, and contribute to the economy.”