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Universal Technical (UTI) Launches Early Employment Program

Zacks Equity Research

Universal Technical Institute UTI unveiled first-of-its-kind Early Employment program at Avondale campus to address skills gap and talent shortages. This initiative will help transportation industry employers in developing their talent, thereby favoring long-term careers.

Notably, the initiative is a perfect blend of post-secondary skills education along with on-the-job, apprenticeship-type training. The program will allow employers to screen students and hire them before the start of school. Moreover, students who meet their employers' criteria will receive compensation for their school-related expenses as well as possible other incentives and fulltime employment.

With participating employers ADESA Auto Auctions; Knight Transportation; Larry H. Miller Dealerships; Loftin Equipment Co.; Penske Automotive Group, Inc. PAG; Republic Services, Inc. RSG; RWC Group; S&S Tire & Auto Service Center; Sunstate Equipment Co.; and United Rentals, Inc. URI, the program will start this summer.



Per the U.S. Department of Labor’s estimates in 2016, approximately 60% of dealerships noted that recruitment was the most pressing challenge. By 2026, there will be more than 1.2 million job openings in the transportation sector. Notably, the company plans to initiate this program in 12 additional campuses across the country.

Growth Drivers

Universal Technical has been addressing the changing needs of students as well as employers. Meanwhile, this hybrid education/apprenticeship approach is helpful in serving critical workforce shortages throughout the skilled trades. In second-quarter fiscal 2019, total starts improved 11.2% year over year.



A glimpse of Universal Technical’s price performance reveals that it has outperformed the industry in a year’s time. The stock, which has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), has gained 11.1% compared with its industry’s 0.7% growth.

This uptick can be mainly attributed to its focus on optimization of media mix as well as efforts to enhance users' experience, with relevant and targeted content, conduct career workshops and work with industry partners, regulators and policymakers for improving access to high schools in military bases.

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