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New Program Aims To Reduce Tech Imbalance In SoCal

Regional leaders at Universal Technical welcomed the Toyota-Lexus automotive technician training program to the Inland Empire.

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Universal Technical Institute has announced that the first local cohort of students have begun their accelerated 12-week training to complete eight Toyota and five Lexus class credentials preparing them to join one of the largest dealer networks in California. The Toyota Professional Automotive Technician (TPAT) program delivers specialized training on both Toyota equipment and vehicles, and helps students prepare to complete certification testing by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Students receive hands-on technical training, explore high-demand career opportunities, and achieve Certified Technician status for a vast Southern California Toyota and Lexus dealer network.

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“Trained auto technicians are in great demand and are the key to any successful dealership,” said Joseph Myers, technician development manager for the TPAT program at Toyota Motor North America. “We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with UTI to fulfill the pipeline of new talent while providing stable jobs and career security that aims to give vehicle owners the most satisfying service experience possible.” 

“These students are receiving training in automotive technology that takes dealership technicians years to finish and the job market is eager to welcome new talent,” said Migdalia “Mig” Vazquez, Campus president. “This is especially true in Southern California where we have one of the most active transportation and logistics corridors in the United States.”

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Employers continue to express a need for hiring as the U.S. Labor Department describes a mismatch between what employers need and what trained job seekers are prepared to perform upon entering the market.

“We are thrilled to have the Toyota Professional Automotive Technician program at UTI in the Inland Empire,” said Dan Johnson, Senior Vice President of Fixed Operations for Larry H. Miller Dealerships which owns Toyota of Corona. “We have our dealership 30 minutes away from the campus and another in the San Diego area. Business is booming and we need more technicians to take care of our customers. We look forward to hiring UTI graduates and the career opportunity we offer to those joining our ‘Winning Team.'”

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The Grand Opening of the TPAT program Friday in the Inland Empire was attended by local elected officials from the City of Rancho Cucamonga and former Congresswoman Loretta L. Sanchez, now serving as an independent director of the board at UTI.

“For those of us who call Southern California home, it’s no surprise that skilled automotive technicians are valued and in high demand,” said Sanchez. “It’s inspiring to see students so focused on their trade and learning from among the best instructors—all at a campus with advanced technology, resources, and equipment to create a real-life learning environment. These students will serve as an inspiration to many Californians seeking this type of education.”

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Today’s rapidly changing workforce offers opportunity for skilled transportation technicians. UTI partners with students to help them navigate the competitive job market. Students who complete the TPAT program explore career opportunities, receive hands-on training on the latest technologies from Toyota and Lexus, and learn from other UTI graduates and local employers about the high need and earning potential for trained technicians.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast that by 2029, total employment for automotive, diesel, and collision repair technicians will exceed 1 million. To help reach that total, the transportation industry needs to fill nearly 100,000 technician job openings on average annually during this period. 

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The Toyota TPAT program will accept applications at the Rancho Cucamonga campus throughout the year. For more information or to enroll, students should visit www.uti.edu/toyota.

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