$15 million in grants & scholarships available this year for those who qualify10


UTI and IGNITE Worldwide: Supporting Women in STEM

Nov 10, 2021 ·

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The demand for skilled trade professionals is growing, and career options for women in these industries are gaining popularity. Universal Technical Institute’s relationship with IGNITE Worldwide was developed to highlight the opportunities for women in STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

Both UTI and IGNITE Worldwide share the common goals of bringing improved accessibility to STEM career pathways and promoting participation and advancement of women in the skilled trades.

Keep reading to find out more about the relationship between UTI and IGNITE Worldwide,*  as well as the different events planned over the course of the next year.

Women in STEM Skilled Trades Conference

There is a lack of female representation in the skilled trades, but UTI is working to change that with the help of IGNITE Worldwide.

IGNITE Worldwide is an organization that promotes workforce development and economic equality by helping give girls and non-binary individuals equal access to STEM education and opportunities. IGNITE works to create and cultivate a diverse pipeline of talent and support sustainable futures for women and their families.

IGNITE helps connect students with role models and different events in their communities to allow them to see new possibilities for the future. IGNITE’s motto for young ladies is, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” UTI’s relationship with the organization will help work to change this, increasing visibility of women in STEM with a focus on potential in the skilled trades.

UTI hosted the first of several events planned for campuses nationwide on Sept. 24, 2021. The Women in STEM Skilled Trades Conference took place at the Avondale, Arizona, campus and featured more than 100 female participants from five high schools around the Phoenix metro area.

These students learned more about the different career pathways in STEM skilled trades. Features of the day included a campus tour, project-based learning stations and a panel discussion that talked about the potential careers women could explore.

The panel featured employees who talked about their firsthand experiences as females in the industry. Seeing successful women in STEM careers can help young women feel connected, engaged and ready to recognize the possibilities for the future.

Andrea Lane, the conference and events manager for Larry H. Miller dealerships, commented on the importance of these events for engaging women to pursue careers in the field.

“Being able to come to UTI to do these events and let people know and understand the opportunities that are available is very important to me … I want them to know you can do it and you can really make a life and really make a career for yourself in this industry as a woman,” she says.

Grants and More STEM Events

Gender-diverse workforces often have many benefits, including increased productivity and stronger financial performance. Women only make up about 29% of the STEM labor force, however.

“Women have traditionally been underrepresented in these sectors, but that’s something we’re eager to address with IGNITE Worldwide by raising awareness about the career opportunities available across the skilled trades and STEM fields,” says UTI CEO Jerome Grant.

On Oct. 13, 2021, NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina, hosted a Women in STEM Skilled Trades event as well. The event was similar to the one hosted in Avondale, with an emphasis on career pathways in motorsports.24 Speakers included Sophie Fox, founder of the Women & Wheels automotive association.

The STEM events that took place in Avondale and at NASCAR Tech are just some of the ways UTI is committed to making a difference in the percentage of women participating in the skilled trades.

In addition to hosting several more events, UTI is making more than $100,000 in tuition grants available.10 Any female or female-identifying high school senior who attends an onsite or virtual IGNITE Worldwide event will be eligible to apply for a grant by completing an application and submitting a brief essay or selfie-style video.

Women in STEM Skilled Trades events are scheduled on the following dates at UTI campuses:

To stay up to date on all UTI events, visit our events page here.

Train for a Career in the Skilled Trades at UTI

With total technician employment expected to exceed 1.7 million by 2031,38 there’s no better time to pursue a career in the skilled trades as a woman. Thanks to the relationship between UTI and IGNITE Worldwide, you might even qualify for a grant to help get you started.

UTI campuses across the country feature a range of core training programs to prepare students for entry-level careers in the skilled trades.1 From automotive technician training to welding, there are many opportunities to pursue something you’re passionate about.

You can request more information to get in touch with an Admissions Representative today!

*UTI’s partnership with IGNITE Worldwide concluded on October 27, 2022.

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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

10) Financial aid, scholarships and grants are available to those who qualify. Awards vary due to specific conditions, criteria and state.

24) NASCAR Technical Institute prepares graduates to work as entry-level automotive service technicians. Some graduates who take NASCAR-specific electives also may have job opportunities in racing-related industries. NASCAR Tech is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

38) The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that total national employment in each of the following occupations by 2031 will be: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, 743,800; Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers, 434,900; Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists, 305,800; Automotive Body and Related Repairers, 156,800; and Computer Numerically Controlled Tool Operators, 147,600. See Table 1.2 Employment by detailed occupation, 2021 and projected 2031, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, viewed October 13, 2022. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

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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