Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Exton, Pa., has launched a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at developing skilled employee pipelines and giving students an inside track on rewarding long-term careers.
The Early Employment initiative blends proven post-secondary skills education with on-the-job, apprenticeship-type training.
Under this new initiative, students can apply for jobs with participating local employers as soon as they enroll at UTI's Exton campus.
Employers registered with the program can screen and hire incoming students before they start school and provide on-the-job experience while students complete their education.
Graduates who meet their employers' criteria will receive reimbursement of school-related expenses and potentially other incentives, along with full-time employment.
"This initiative is a win for both employers and students," said Bob Kessler, UTI-Exton Campus President. "Students gain real industry experience and earn a living while they're in school. Once they graduate, they have a good job with an employer they know well, who will help them pay back their tuition.
Employers have the opportunity to help train future technicians to meet their needs and fill a critical skills gap."
UTI's Exton campus is launching the initiative in February 2020. Participating employers in the Early Employment program include: Bayshore Truck Centers, CarSense, Ciocca Dealerships, Fred Beans Family of Dealerships, Herc Equipment, Republic Services, and Rothrock Motor Sales.
There will be more than 30 early employment positions available to incoming students this winter. The Exton campus is only the second of 12 campuses to offer the program. UTI started the Early Employment initiative at its Avondale, Az. campus in July 2019 and plans to roll it out to all UTI campuses across the country.
"The Early Employment initiative is a unique opportunity to bring together students and employers and demonstrate the benefits of a technical education," said Kessler. "The program gives students a clear career path, bolstered by the confidence that employers are willing to invest in them from the start."
Demand for skilled automotive and diesel technicians has never been greater. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that, by 2026, there will be more than 1.2 million job openings (100,000 per year on average) in the transportation sector. According to a 2016 survey, approximately 60 percent of dealerships cited recruitment as their most pressing challenge.
Student applications are now being accepted for the Early Employment program at UTI-Exton. Students must apply by February 12, 2020 in order to be eligible.