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UTI Students Get an Inside Look at the Future of Volvo

UTI Profile Image Universal Technical Institute Jun 11, 2019 ·

Technology is transforming the transportation industry right before our eyes. When looking at the role of a technician years ago compared to today, we see how the industry has evolved. As technology advances, the future of the transportation industry will continue to bring changes—and the future is a lot closer than many of us think!

At UTI, our goal is to prepare students for careers in the rapidly evolving transportation industry.1 We do this by providing our students with a strong foundation of knowledge that they can build on when they are ready to go into the workforce. 

One of the advantages of training at UTI is that after finishing your core training program, you can continue on to complete a specialized training program created in conjunction with leading manufacturers. The Volvo Service Automotive Factory Education (SAFE) program is one of them.2

UTI has a close relationship with Volvo. This allows us to stay up-to-date on the manufacturer’s current technologies and make them accessible to our students. Read along as we introduce you to Volvo’s all-new S60 and share how UTI has been involved with its launch!

About the Volvo SAFE Program

The dealerships of Volvo, a brand known for safety and reliability, look for technicians they can count on to service their vehicles. UTI’s Volvo training courses are designed to give you the training and skills you need to meet those expectations and be on your way to earning your Master Volvo Technician rating.

Three auto technician or mechanic students from the Volvo program at Universal Technical Institute Avondale who are looking at a Volvo that is up on a lift

UTI is the only school in the U.S. that offers an apprentice Volvo mechanic training program. For this reason, many entry-level techs are sourced from this program, especially with today’s growing demand for skilled technicians.

According to UTI Volvo Instructor John Stuckey, “Our students in the manufacturer-specific programs get to build on their basic foundation education by being deeply immersed in manufacturer-specific technology.” Mr. Stuckey shares that the Volvo technician training program gives students a competitive advantage as they enter the workforce. When students graduate, they can legally and safely service hybrid vehicles that technicians without the proper training can’t, even if they have 20 years of experience. “It’s about being up to speed on the technology,” Mr. Stuckey says. 

The UTI Volvo program is a Manufacturer Paid Manufacturer-Specific Advanced Training program, meaning you must apply, meet certain qualifications, interview and be accepted. Offered at our Avondale campus, this 14-week program will give you the opportunity to train on models including the XC60, XC90, T8 Hybrid, S90 sedan and now the S60!

3 Things to Know About Volvo:

  1. Volvo recently opened a digital library on the Internet that makes all of its crash testing data from the last 50 years accessible to the world.
  2. The manufacturer recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of the three-point seatbelt—a Volvo invention. The three-point seatbelt remains one of the most widely used safety innovations in automotive history.
  3. For the first time in its company history, Volvo has a manufacturing facility in the U.S. This isn’t just any assembly plant; it’s a complete manufacturing facility in South Carolina that relies solely on suppliers sourced in the U.S.

Introducing the Volvo S60

The S60 is one of the sportiest cars Volvo has ever created. The car has 415 horsepower and the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds—all in a comfortable, four-passenger luxury environment. This vehicle includes all of Volvo’s famous safety features in a sporty package.

The S60 is an incredibly exclusive model. Only 20 of these vehicles have been made! The car is built in South Carolina to celebrate the opening of the new factory—Volvo’s first production site in the U.S. Featuring the same color and high level of equipment specifications, the cars were sold only on the Internet. In fact, they sold out in just 30 minutes! 

A handful of these cars were also made for the purpose of training employees at the new factory. The exciting news for our students is that a Volvo S60 was also delivered to UTI! Students in the SAFE program will have the opportunity to train with the vehicle and be exposed to its cutting-edge technology. Manufacturers trust UTI to train the technicians they employ, which is what opens the door to exclusive opportunities like this for our students.

As technology continues to evolve and transform the transportation industry, what does this mean for UTI students?

According to Mr. Stuckey, it’s important for students to be prepared to accept whatever comes and change direction when necessary. Across all of our programs at UTI and specifically in the SAFE program, we encourage students to be lifelong learners in order to keep up with changes in technology. 

A lot of what we do isn’t necessarily about “training” but rather, it’s about learning. “Learning happens when you’re trained to do something, and you can take what you’ve learned and apply it to other situations that weren’t foreseen and be successful in a different environment,” Mr. Stuckey says. We strive to give students a strong foundation of knowledge they can build upon as they go out into the industry and gain experience in a variety of settings. 

According to Mr. Stuckey, “The best we can do is stay flexible.” Success in this industry requires drive, intelligence, dedication and hours of practice. It doesn’t come easy—but if it’s what you love, it’s worth it!

What Does the Future Hold for Volvo?

When we think about the future, we see the emergence of self-driving technology. But what about car enthusiasts who love driving? 

According to Mr. Stuckey, “It doesn’t mean there won’t be a market for cars that are fun to drive.” It comes down to a matter of need vs. want, and Volvo is invested in both sides of the equation. No matter where the future takes us, Volvo aspires to be a company that continues to thrive. “Wherever technology goes, Volvo is going to be there,” says Mr. Stuckey.

Growing Opportunities for Technicians

While the profession might change over the years, the need for skilled technicians remains. As we enter a new era that is dominated by technology, technicians will play a critical role in exciting new developments. “A lot of current older techs are phasing out, and there is a critical need for new techs who understand the specifics of manufacturer technology,” says Mr. Stuckey.

Manufacturers look for techs who already know their product. According to Mr. Stuckey, relationships with original equipment manufacturers is the best part of what UTI offers. Core programs give you a basic foundation while the focus of our manufacturer-specific programs is to prepare you for a career and get your foot in the door with leading manufacturers. UTI’s curriculum, such as that in the Volvo program, is designed to take your training to the next level.

The changes we see happening at Volvo speak to the industry’s need for highly skilled technicians. “There isn’t a place in the industry for someone who can just turn wrenches,” says Mr. Stuckey. It’s not about performing routine services anymore. Instead, opportunities are found in advanced diagnostics, electronics, electric drivetrains and more. 

Manufacturers will be relying on the next generation of techs to ride this new wave of technology right alongside them. If you have a passion for this industry, there’s no better time than now to start your Volvo mechanic training!

Interested in completing a specialized training program like UTI’s  Volvo SAFE program? Contact us to  request information today.

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