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The COVID-19 crisis might have changed the way graduations look these days—but this hasn’t stopped the industry from recognizing the incredible achievements of our grads!
Technicians play an important role in our world, and during this pandemic, we’ve seen just how essential they really are. While many industries have come to a halt, technicians have remained at the forefront of the transportation and maintenance industry, servicing the vehicles that keep our world in motion.
In an effort to celebrate our grads, Würth and Team Penske will be placing the names of 225 recent UTI and NASCAR Tech grads on Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Würth Ford Mustang during an upcoming NASCAR Cup Series race! The race will take place at Texas Motor Speedway on July 19th.
Keep reading to learn all about UTI’s relationship with Würth USA, as well as the details surrounding this exciting event.
Würth USA is a leading supplier of high-quality automotive parts, products and services. Since 2018, Würth USA has supported UTI’s mission to deliver industry-aligned training by providing an annual product allowance and hosting regular training sessions on campus.
Each year, Würth USA contributes chemical products, electrical supplies, hardware, shop safety/PPE equipment and storage solutions that UTI students are able to utilize during their hands-on training in the lab. This gives students the opportunity to become familiar with the same products they’ll be using once they enter the field.
Würth USA also has branded classrooms in five of UTI’s campus locations: Lisle, IL, Mooresville, NC, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, Long Beach, CA and Orlando, FL. This will expand to the Bloomfield, NJ campus later this year.
A key component of Würth’s mission is to support continuing education while improving the level of safety, service and performance in the automotive industry. As the next wave of technicians enter the workforce, many of whom will be UTI graduates, Würth USA is committed to keeping pace with industry and providing innovative products and solutions to make their lives easier.
According to Aaron Brading, Würth USA Chief Executive Officer, “The level of professionalism and expertise that UTI instills in its graduates are the qualities commonly found in the technicians that put their trust in our products and services every day. Our partnership with UTI is a perfect marriage between highly skilled men and women who demand the highest quality Würth products to get their jobs done right the first time.”
Despite the many challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, a significant number of UTI grads forged ahead and completed their training. These students showed heroic amounts of dedication and commitment, as many had to finish their coursework online.
While traditional graduation ceremonies haven’t been possible due to social distancing guidelines, UTI has found creative ways to celebrate grads, from virtual ceremonies to drive-up graduations.
Perhaps one of the most exciting things in store for the class of 2020, however, is the initiative that was recently brought forth by Würth and Team Penske.
At the NASCAR Cup Series race taking place at Texas Motor Speedway on July 19th, the names of 225 UTI and NASCAR Tech grads will be placed on the No. 2 Würth Ford Mustang driven by Brad Keselowski for Team Penske. These are students who graduated between March 1st and May 31st, 2020 and weren’t able to have an in-person graduation ceremony.
This idea was brought to life because of Würth USA’s incredible commitment to serving technicians across the country. The brand recognizes the critical role technicians play in today’s world, and wanted to ensure that the accomplishments of this year’s grads didn’t go unnoticed. Plus, how many techs can say they’ve had their name placed on a race car?
“We serve the men and women who are building and shaping the future of our country and keep America moving forward,” says Thomas O’Neill, Executive Vice President of the Würth Group. “These individuals include skilled technicians who are the lifeblood of the automotive and trucking industry and who we have the opportunity to celebrate. These UTI 2020 graduates deserve to be recognized and we are thrilled to utilize our racing platform to make it a special and memorable experience for them.”
In addition to having their names placed on the car, the 225 graduates will be able to tune in for a virtual hospitality event prior to the race on July 19th. At the event, the grads will be congratulated for all of their achievements, get a close-up look at the No. 2 Würth/UTI Class Of 2020 Ford Mustang, and have the opportunity to participate in a live Q&A with Brad Keselowski and Doug Yates.
Graduates will also be recognized on Big Hoss TV during the race—the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest HD LED Video Board!
In the past few months, UTI grads across the country have stepped up and played a vital role while our world navigates this crisis.
NASCAR Tech grad Hank Fowler and his team at Roush Yates Engines have used their resources to create PPE for healthcare workers.
Diesel grads Nestor Martinez and Dylan Bansi are helping to keep diesel trucks that are transporting and delivering goods during the pandemic on the road.
Nathan Armas and his team, which is mostly made up of NASCAR Tech grads, are maintaining vehicles that are transporting essential workers to and from their jobs.
These grads are just some of the many who are on the frontlines serving their communities during this time. As the class of 2020 enters the workforce, they will be stepping into positions that our world is relying on right now, which is all the more reason why they should be celebrated!
Penske’s connection to UTI is significant. With George Brochick, Executive Vice President - Strategic Development at Penske Automotive Group, Inc. on UTI’s Board of Directors, Penske is more than just an employer. George filled a vacancy created by the departure of Roger Penske, who spent 18 years on UTI’s Board of Directors.
“Universal Technical Institute graduates have the skills to deliver for our organization, which is why we rely on UTI to help us identify new talent,” Mr. Penske shares. “UTI has not only helped us win on the race track, its graduates work throughout our organization. This special paint scheme is a great way to recognize the recent graduates of UTI and celebrate our partnership.”
Team Penske has hired more than 60 UTI and NASCAR Tech graduates to date, and Roger Penske hires UTI graduates for Penske Corporation businesses such as Penske Automotive Group and Penske Truck Rental. Additionally, Team Penske uses exclusively Roush Yates Engines in their NASCAR race cars, and Roush Yates has hired more than 110 UTI graduates.
According to Wyatt Hatcher, NASCAR Tech grad and Technician for Team Penske, “The connections [at NASCAR Tech] are unreal. Everybody knows somebody in whatever area you want to go into, whether it’s NASCAR, a specific dealer or NHRA. They have the connections.”
Harry Bookhoop Jr. is another NASCAR Tech grad who works with Team Penske. He works on the IndyCar side of the business and supports the team both on and off the track, whether it’s ordering parts or being part of the backup pit crew.
“I say that I work for Penske and people are like—wow, that’s awesome. I don’t think about it a lot, especially getting to be a part of the Indy team, but when I do, I realize that it’s a pretty big deal,” Harry shares.
For NASCAR Tech grad Travis Law, who is now Chief Mechanic for Team Penske, his education laid the foundation for what would be expected of him later on in his career. In 2007, Team Penske entrusted him with the position of crew chief for three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, and he credits his training from NASCAR Tech for preparing him for the position.
“NASCAR Tech prepares you really well from an integrity standpoint, and a responsibility standpoint. You start to get comfortable with what the expectation is going to be later,” Travis says.
Whether it’s servicing diesel trucks, motorcycles, boats or building the cars we love to watch race on TV, UTI grads are blazing trails in a variety of industries. UTI is grateful to have such incredible industry connections like Würth and Penske, who support our training and invest in the future of our grads.
Technicians have always been essential, and it’s exciting to see the world recognize how important they really are. Congratulations to the class of 2020—we look forward to following your success in the years to come!
Be sure to tune in for the race on Sunday, July 19th live on NBCSN and The Performance Racing Network (PRN) radio. Broadcasting will begin at 2pm Central Time.
Looking for a hands-on career with exciting opportunities for advancement? UTI’s core programs are designed to provide you with a foundation of skills you can build upon as you pursue your passion. To learn more, visit our program page and request information today.
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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
2) For important information about the educational debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attended this program, and to review the applicable Gainful Employment disclosure, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.
6) UTI graduates' achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. UTI is
an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.
10) Financial aid and scholarships are available to those who qualify. Awards vary due to specific conditions, criteria and state.
12) Based on data compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections (2016-2026), www.bls.gov, viewed October 24, 2017. The projected number of annual
job openings, by job classification is: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, 75,900; Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists, 28,300; Automotive Body and Related Repairers, 17,200. Job openings include openings due to growth
and net replacements.
14) Incentive programs and employee eligibility are at the discretion of the employer and available at select locations. Special conditions may apply. Talk to potential employers to learn more about the programs available in your area.
15) Manufacturer-paid advanced training programs are conducted by UTI’s Custom Training Group on behalf of manufacturers who determine acceptance criteria and conditions. These programs are not part of UTI’s accreditation.
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