Interstate Batteries Inc. is partnering with Universal Technical Institute Inc. (UTI) to support students pursuing technician training and raise awareness of the career opportunities available in the automotive industry.
The company will provide the latest technology and curriculum support to help students excel in their education at UTI. The UTI partnership builds on Interstate Batteries' sponsorship of the TechForce Foundation’s FutureTech Success campaign, which is aimed at introducing youth to automotive careers.
The collective goal the partnerships with UTI and TechForce is to share industry success stories and educate the technicians of tomorrow, in order to inspire them to pursue a career as skilled mechanics—ultimately decreasing the current technician shortage by 2020.
“This industry is facing many challenges, including older technicians approaching retirement, increased vehicle age and population, complexity of vehicles, and a misunderstanding of the skills and growth opportunity for this career,” says Tom Gray, vice president of marketing for Interstate Batteries. “Many think that being a mechanic is not a lifelong career choice, when in fact, it offers innovation and immense opportunity for professional growth. By collaborating with UTI and TechForce, we’ll be able to effectively shift this thinking.”
The company says one-third of respondents to a recent study it conducted were unsure whether work as an automotive technician would be a long-term career.
Interstate will provide batteries and battery testers for all of UTI’s automotive and diesel technician training campuses, giving students hands-on experience with the products they will use on the job. To promote the partnership, Interstate will have its own branded lab space on each of UTI’s campuses. Also, leaders from Interstate Batteries will have the opportunity to serve on UTI’s Program Advisory Councils to help inform curriculum and provide industry insights and expertise.
“It’s important that we nurture our existing students as well as those who show interest in becoming an automotive technician,” says John Dodson, vice president of business alliances, UTI. “While TechForce Foundation focuses on those in the early stages of exploring future career paths, UTI develops and trains students to prepare them for the workforce. And now with Interstate serving as a preferred vendor and industry partner, our students will have even more access to innovative tools and resources, which give them more confidence and support toward successful careers.”
Interstate is entering its second year as a main sponsor of TechForce Foundation’s FutureTech Success campaign, which informs parents and influencers of the career potential in the transportation industry. As a partner with TechForce, Interstate’s Gray also serves on its National Board of Directors and its FutureTech National Leadership Cabinet that helps bring visibility to the industry and the career opportunities it provides.
“Most don’t realize that auto technicians have high earning potential and job security,” says Jennifer Maher, executive director, TechForce Foundation. “Bringing on Interstate Batteries to help shed light on the benefits of pursuing this profession gives this cause so much more clout. We are excited to add this powerhouse to our list of partners and look forward to changing the industry for the better.”
For more information about Interstate Batteries and how it’s working to shift the myth of the technician, visit the company’s Challenging Perceptions and Championing Technicians blog.
About Interstate Batteries
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Interstate Batteries was founded in 1952 and is best known for its starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) batteries. For more information, visit www.interstatebatteries.com.
About Universal Technical Institute
With more than 200,000 graduates in its 53-year history, Universal Technical Institute Inc. (UTI) is a provider of technical training for automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians, and offers welding technology and computer numerical control (CNC) machining programs. Through its network of 13 campuses nationwide, UTI offers post-secondary programs under the banner of several brands, including Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Motorcycle Mechanics Institute and Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) and NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech). The company is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, visit uti.edu.
About TechForce Foundation
TechForce Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) with the mission to champion students to and through their education and into careers as professional technicians in the transportation industry. The Foundation distributes more than $1.2 million in scholarships and grants annually, thanks to its generous corporate sponsors and donors, and is spearheading FutureTech Success the industry-wide initiative to help encourage and support more young people to pursue the vehicle technician profession. For more information, visit www.techforcefoundation.org.