High School Students Taking to the Garage for Summer Vacation

Ignite Summer Program by UTI

Words: Karen Sullivan Photos: Karen Sullivan

To encourage more youngsters to consider a career in automotive the Universal Technical Institute has launched a new program, the Ignite Summer Program. With the technician shortage this is a good way to allow high schoolers the chance to move forward in seeing if working on automobiles is truly for them. As Jennifer Maher, CEO/executive director of TechForce says, “Our country and education system have divested in high school auto shops and stigmatized trade school education which is killing the trades. A big part of the problem is the outdated image of the ‘grease monkey’ mechanic that students and their parents, teachers and counselors may have. Today’s techs are well paid, highly skilled, hands-on problem solvers who are not burdened by massive school debt like their four-year school counterparts. As we change this image we can get more students interested in becoming technicians.”

The Ignite Program itself is aimed at high school juniors who will be entering their senior year. The course that the students take is a UTI introductory class that first time students at the Institute take as well. The programs themselves varying from campus to campus but can consist of automotive, diesel, motorcycle and collision repair mechanical technology. Over the course of three weeks, students are introduced to numerous aspects of the automotive industry and the basics of working on automobiles. Upon completion of the program, students are given the opportunity to take the course exam, and if passed, are given the credits for the course if they decide to pursue a degree with UTI in the future.

At UTI: Norwood, 11 students decided to take the plunge and give up 6 hours a day for three weeks to attend the program which starts at 7 a.m. in the morning. It says a lot about the students themselves. Some students had experience with high school automotive classes, others from parents, and others just had an interest in cars but no background in them. One such student was Saida Fernandez of Providence, Rhode Island. She has been attending a vocational high school and is in their automotive program but isn’t quite sure automotive is 100% for her where Saida is also interested in criminal justice. The Ignite Program was a perfect opportunity for her to continue her automotive studies and further see if this was something she wanted to pursue.

To find out more and where you can locate an Ignite Summer Program near you: https://www.uti.edu/programs/ignite

About Universal Technical Institute, Inc.
With more than 200,000 graduates in its 52-year history, Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (NYSE :UTI ) is the nation's leading provider of technical training for automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians, and offers welding technology and computer numerical control (CNC) machining programs. The company has built partnerships with industry leaders, outfits its state-of-the-industry facilities with current technology, and delivers training that is aligned with employer needs. Through its network of 12 campuses nationwide, UTI offers post-secondary programs under the banner of several well-known brands, including Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Motorcycle Mechanics Institute and Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) and NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech). The company is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, visit uti.edu.