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UTI Employee Shares Her Experiences From the SEMA All-Female Bronco Build

Oct 28, 2022 ·

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The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) convention occurs annually in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is considered to be the “ultimate enthusiast experience” for those who love cars. It occupies more than 1 million net square feet and attracts about 60,000 buyers each year.

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the first All-Female Bronco Build, where women throughout the country collaborate and work on different parts of a Ford Bronco until it’s ready for display at the SEMA convention. To mark the milestone, SEMA has once again set out to create an all-female-built Bronco.

And this year, a Universal Technical Institute employee and some UTI students got to participate in the build!

How It Started

It was a story of “what a small world we live in” for Kira Daczko — a regional admissions director at UTI’s campus in Sacramento, California — in getting to collaborate with UTI students on the all-female Bronco build.

“I already have the passion for this, and I’ve been subscribed to SEMA News emails. When I received the email that SEMA was accepting volunteers for this all-female Bronco build, of course I applied as soon as I read the article,” Kira shares.

Kira has longtime experience and passion for the industry, having completed her own motorcycle technician training and worked for 14 years at technical schools, helping students find jobs and supporting dealer networks.1

Kira signed up, and so did some female UTI students! It was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed, since UTI offered the Long Beach campus as a working location.

“We had three weeks in California available to work. I worked first at SEMA Garage (in nearby Diamond Bar) then on the second week I found out we would be working at the UTI campus in the Collision department,” Kira says. “I got to meet the students and collaborate with them when I finished week one and dropped off the parts at UTI Long Beach for them to paint week two. Once they were done, I worked week three back at the SEMA Garage to install the parts they painted at UTI Long Beach.”

What a Week’s Worth of Work on the Bronco Looked Like

Although this was an exciting opportunity, it certainly wasn’t an easy journey. Kira worked with others in California for three weeks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, then started her full-time job around 10:30 p.m. To get a better glimpse of just how much work it was for all the women involved, Kira shared what one of her weeks looked like:

Day 1

Kira worked out of the SEMA Garage with the team and tore down the Bronco, removing the hood, roof, quarter panels, wheels, seats, bumpers and skid plate. The team got almost the entire build exposed to do some minor cleaning before they did new-part fittings.

Day 2

Kira and the team were on-site at Tireco in Fontana, where they participated in an instructional hands-on tire removal, as well as a new mount and balance of fresh tires of the new ICON wheels for the build. They then installed Milestar Patagonia MT 02s, which are 37s — beefy tires meant for off-road terrain and mud.

“We had a beautiful set of flat black ICON wheels we mounted them on once we got the old tire pressure sensors off the stock Bronco wheels, which means we had to pull the tires off and on 10 wheels total. It was a full day,” Kira recalls.

Day 3

The quarter panels and hood were delivered to the Long Beach campus to have two students in the Collision Repair & Refinish Technology program prep, paint and finish for the build. The process was led by CRRT program instructor Cody Marquez!

“It was so exciting to have our students on campus at UTI involved in the completion of this build,” Kira says. “Back at the (SEMA) Garage, we finished the day off by pulling the new suspension components out of the boxes and did slight assembly so we can install them tomorrow.”

Day 4

Back at the SEMA Garage, Kira and her group were instructed by representatives from ICON Vehicle Dynamics on the installation of new suspension components. The team had to remove the upper and lower control arms and the sway bar, plus the old shocks. They prepped the shocks with nitrogen, installed new brackets and reset the ride height, camber and toe once the new components were installed, and the control arm and sway bar were reassembled and torqued down.

SEMA filmed the process of Kira and her team’s work, which you can view in this video:

      

Video courtesy of Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)

The SEMA All-Female-Built Ford Bronco

After finishing up in California, the Bronco was moved across the country so another team of women could complete different tasks, like custom wrapping. It’s set to debut in November 2022 at the SEMA convention in Las Vegas, which Kira plans to attend.

“This is a great networking and empowerment opportunity, and I am so thankful to represent the ladies out there in our fabulous industry,” Kira says. “There are so many different aspects of people that donated products and women who came in to show us how to install it, and seeing the strength of women in our community is life-changing.”

Follow Your Passion Today and Get Started With UTI

If you’re like Kira and have a passion for the automotive industry, consider UTI, where you could train in less than a year to enter a career path you’re passionate about.7

YOU COULD START YOUR PATH TOWARD A NEW CAREER TODAY.
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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.

7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

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