BLOOMFIELD, NJ– Universal Technical Institute formally unveiled their latest campus during a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony yesterday (Tuesday, August 21) at their new Broad Street, Bloomfield location.

The campus, focused on automotive and diesel training, features new technology as the facility covers 108,000 square feet and includes 14 classrooms and 15 training labs.  Students learn the diesel and automotive techniques through hands-on lessons, so they can enter the growing job market that’s in need of trained technicians.

“There is no better time to get into the industry, because of the very high demand for technicians,” said UTI Regional Admissions Director Kevin Gero.

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The ceremony commemorated the official start of classes that began August 13.  Master of Ceremonies was UTI Campus President Steve McElfresh, who stated the response to the new facility from local automotive and diesel businesses already has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The employers are as excited as students that we’re coming to town,” said McElfresh.  “There's a need for techs in the New Jersey and New York market as businesses like Crown Lift Trucks and Penske (Truck Leasing) are joining us in celebrating our new campus opening.”

Speakers also included Bloomfield Township Mayor Michael J. Venezia, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo of Legislative District 28, Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker of District 28, Essex County Freeholder Carlos Pomares of District 5, and Penske Truck Leasing Human Resources Manager Terrell McCray.

“My colleagues and I look forward to each and every opportunity that this school will open up for our students,” said Mayor Venezia.  “The state-of-the-art campus that has been built here provides the best technical experience to its students and I strongly believe it will give our younger residents a strong place to consider when thinking about their future.”

Also in attendance were Bloomfield Business Administrator Matthew Watkins, Public Safety Director Sam DeMaio, and Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Michael L. Sceurman.

The Bloomfield location is the 13th UTI campus in the United States and the first campus in the New York metro area as it looks to meet growing automotive service technician needs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the average number of job openings for auto service technicians to be 75,900 annually now through 2026.  For diesel service technicians, the number is expected to be 28,300 jobs during the same period.

Studying at UTI Bloomfield is ideal for students who enjoy working or want to work hands-on with automotive vehicles or diesel machinery and want to enter an industry that offers career opportunities.

According to NJBiz.com, the push to train more automotive technicians comes amid a nationwide shortage of skilled techs, as they are retiring in great numbers.

UTI Bloomfield will ensure students learn the most in-demand skills with input from leading brands on the vital knowledge that technicians need.  In the technology training programs, students will be able to practice what they learn in a supportive environment.

UTI will offer training to about 800 students in Bloomfield.  Students can complete core automotive and diesel technology programs and be ready to work in 11 to 18 months.  About 175 New Jersey and New York employers have hired UTI graduates from its Pennsylvania campus.

In addition to courses taught by experienced instructors with real-world knowledge, one of UTI's defining traits is the emphasis of professionalism.  Part of students' grades depend on exhibiting professionalism, which benefits them once they enter the field.

“I've interviewed a lot of folks who say UTI candidates stand out, which I think is because of the professionalism,” said McElfresh.  “For us, it's not just about them getting the job -- it's about them keeping the job.”

During courses, students are graded not just on classwork, lab work and interactive online learning, but also attendance and professionalism, including factors such as punctuality and attitude.

Graduates will be prepared to complete examinations for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.  Program completion can be substituted for one of the two years of work experience required for ASE certification.

UTI students are connected to a rich network of manufacturers of more than 30 brands that influence the curriculum and add postings to the UTI job board.  Students who begin their careers as entry-level technicians may later become lead technicians or service managers at a wide variety of businesses, including dealerships.

“I tell our students at orientation (about the growing need since) I don't think they realize how many opportunities are out there,” McElfresh said.

Penske Truck Leasing area recruiter in metro New York City, recruits in New Jersey.  The company hires students and recent graduates as customer service reps and entry-level diesel tech workers.  Penske works with UTI campuses across the U.S.

UTI also partners with BMW, Cummins, Ford, Freightliner, Mercedes-Benz, NASCAR, Peterbilt, Porsche and Volvo.  The partners invest in UTI campus facilities, outfit training labs with the most current vehicles, technology and tools, and guide educational programs, so students graduate with the knowledge and skills employers want.

With growing numbers of vehicles on the road and the constant development of advanced technologies, demand for technicians with the ability to diagnose, maintain and repair mechanical and technical systems should only increase.  

“Our purpose is to change the lives of our students and we couldn’t be any more passionate about it,” McElfresh added.