Universal Technical Institute has reopened hands-on training labs at 10 of its 13 campuses. Labs at three remaining campuses are scheduled to open by June 15. Modified in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health department guidelines, the labs allow students participating in online courses to continue the in-person portion of their education and train for good, stable jobs essential to the nation’s infrastructure.
“Now, more than ever, people need the essential training UTI provides. The students we serve have been especially hard hit by the challenges our nation is facing, and it is vitally important that we give them a path to a bright future,” said Jerome Grant, UTI’s CEO. “Reopening hands-on labs allows students to complete their training and go to work in rewarding jobs where their skills will be in demand for years to come.”
UTI has adapted its facilities, hands-on teaching methods and class schedules to reopen labs at 10 of its 13 campuses to date, including Avondale and Phoenix, Ariz., Orlando, Fla., Long Beach, Rancho Cucamonga and Sacramento, Calif., Houston and Dallas, Texas, Lisle (Chicago), Ill. and NASCAR Tech in Mooresville, N.C. Students are receiving invitations to return to campus for in-person education in Exton, Pa. and Norwood, Mass. on June 8 and in Bloomfield, N.J. on June 15, as state and local directives allow. The design and launch of UTI’s modified labs is consistent with applicable state and local orders and guidance.
“Our first priority as we reopen our labs for hands-on instruction is the well-being of our students and staff, and we are committed to giving our more than 11,000 students a safe, quality education and to training the technicians America needs during this unprecedented crisis,” Grant said.
As the largest provider of transportation technicians in the country, UTI’s graduates service trucks that deliver essential supplies, keep EMT, police, and fire department fleets operating, repair and maintain equipment in essential industries including healthcare, energy and manufacturing and keep America’s vehicles maintained and running.
On March 18, UTI transitioned its on-campus, in-person education model to an online format, building IT capability, redesigning courses, and training instructors to work in a virtual environment. While online courses have allowed more than 8,000 students to remain in school, hands-on training is required to give them the skills needed to work as transportation technicians, welders and computer numerical control (CNC) machinists. To meet that need, UTI is now offering a blended education model, combining in-person training with online, instructor-delivered lectures and demonstrations.
UTI is implementing a number of health and safety measures in support of the wellbeing of its students, employees, and campus communities, including: reduced class sizes, staggered start and end times across sessions, six-foot social distancing between workstations, independent break times for students and staff, cleaning and disinfecting all workstations and tools between sessions, and taking the temperature of all students and staff before entering campus. While students have been invited to participate in hands-on labs on campus, attendance is not required until students are comfortable returning. Students can choose to continue online courses only, or pause their education without losing credits or tuition.