Get an Inside Look at the Early Employment Program

Mar 3, 2020 ·
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Career preparation is about so much more than having a perfect GPA on your résumé. In today’s competitive job market, having real-world experience and industry connections goes a long way.

This is especially the case if you’re looking to pursue a career in the transportation industry. Employers need skilled technicians who have been exposed to the industry and are up to speed with today’s technology.

In order to give students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while they complete their training, Universal Technical Institute created the Early Employment Program.1 This initiative blends post-secondary skills education with on-the-job, apprenticeship-type training. Launched in July 2019 at the UTI-Avondale campus, this program has taken off and is expanding to other campuses, including UTI Exton2 and soon UTI Sacramento.

Keep reading to learn about the Early Employment Program, including how it benefits students, eligibility requirements, incentives employers are offering and much more.

What is the Early Employment Program?

UTI’s Early Employment Program provides a way for students to jump-start training for careers in the industry. Enrolled students at participating UTI campuses are eligible to apply and can receive part-time work while in school, be considered for full-time employment after graduation and have the potential to receive reimbursement for education-related expenses. Students are interviewed and hired by the employer, just like anyone applying for employment.

This program is a win-win for both employers and students. Employers have access to up-and-coming talent and are able to give students an inside look at how their dealerships or shops run, reducing the amount of time it would take to train new graduates fresh out of school. For students, this is an incredible way to get in the door and supplement their UTI programs with hands-on training and mentorship directly from employers.

How do You Apply?

Eligibility requirements and conditions may vary from employer to employer. In addition to employer-specific requirements, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled at one of UTI’s participating campuses
  • Show interest in the program by submitting a common application to
  • Participate in the interview process with employers during the specified time frame

Which UTI Campuses Offer This Program?

The Early Employment Program first launched in Avondale, Arizona, where there are currently 10 employers offering incentives to students. Among them is Loftin Equipment Co., a full-service supplier of emergency backup and prime power for a variety of critical applications. The company has been excited to team up with UTI on this initiative. Risk Manager Jim Schaffer shared the following:

“The UTI Early Employment Program is a strategic initiative we are extremely excited about participating in. The program provides us with an opportunity to evaluate potential full-time candidates while they are working part-time and attending class. The on-the-job experience these students gain while attending UTI is an invaluable opportunity for students to gain field experience while acclimating them to our company’s culture. The tiered tuition reimbursement piece of the program also provides these students with the incentive to remain with us after graduation, which is another vital piece of the program. The program really is a win for everyone!”    

Most recently, UTI launched the program in Exton, Pennsylvania, where the demand for qualified technicians continues to soar. There are currently seven local employers working with UTI, including Bayshore Truck Center, CarSense, Ciocca Dealerships, Fred Beans, Herc Rentals Inc., Republic Services and Rothrock Motor Sales, Inc. Each of these employers is offering valuable incentives to students.

According to Jacqui Arcidiacono, Employment Services Director for UTI-Exton, “The employers who have signed up so far are wonderful. They understand our mission and vision, and they know that in order to get a good technician, you need to be able to train, coach and guide them.” As the program continues to see success, the goal is to grow this list and work with other employers in the area, creating even more opportunities for students.

What This Program Can Mean for You

The Early Employment Program gives aspiring technicians a direct line to the industry, making it possible to get on track to a career. According to UTI-Exton Campus President Bob Kessler, “The program gives students a career path, bolstered by the confidence that employers are willing to invest in them from the start.”

Participating employers understand the importance of mentorship and are willing to take students under their wing from day one. One employer is Fred Beans, a dealership with 21 locations in the area surrounding UTI Exton.

According to Jacqui, “Fred Beans has a great mentorship program already in place when you go to work for them.” Students learn alongside experienced technicians who are there to coach them and show them the ropes. This provides students with an incredible resource and support system while they complete their training. Fred Beans also offers tool sets to students they hire and offers reimbursement to students who decide to invest in their own tools.

Rothrock Motor Sales is another Exton dealership involved in UTI’s Early Employment Program. “We are always looking for sources for technicians because in our industry there’s a vast shortage of technicians,” says Director of Operations Ron Carl. Like Fred Beans, students who work at Rothrock are able to learn from technicians who know what it takes to succeed in this industry. “Our technicians who have been doing this for a while can keep an eye on them and help guide them,” Ron shares.

Students in the Early Employment Program hit the ground running. Being able to gain work experience while you complete your education is incredibly valuable and can help you to advance in the industry.

Another benefit to this program is the ability for students to find part-time work that helps cover living expenses without interfering with their studies. Depending on whether students are enrolled in morning or afternoon classes, they can work with UTI and the employers to set work schedules that don’t conflict with the times they have class.

All in all, the Early Employment Program is an investment in the future for participating students. According to Jacqui, “The fact that we have employers that are willing to coach, mentor and teach you while you’re going to school with the hopes that it will turn into a full-time job at the end is unique.”

While the program is currently available only at the Avondale and Exton campuses, it will be coming to UTI-Sacramento. UTI also has plans to expand to its other campus locations in the near future, so stay tuned!

Prepare for Your Future at UTI

In addition to the Early Employment Program, UTI’s Employment team at every campus can help students connect with other local, part-time employment opportunities during training. To learn more, visit our Employment Assistance page and request information to connect with an Admissions Representative.

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