From left is UTI campus director of operations Rosangela Dempster and campus president Bob Kessler; Penske leaders Bill Jacobelli, senior vice president of maintenance; Jen Sockel, senior vice president of administration; Ken Hurley, senior vice president of human resources and Jack Gallagher, senior vice president of the Northeast region.
Earlier this week, students, instructors and representatives from Penske Truck Leasing gathered at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) for a grand opening event in celebration of the Exton campus’ latest addition, a brand new 1,900-square foot Penske-branded multipurpose room. The room will serve as a venue for a multitude of student activities for both students and staff, including presentations, training seminars, student-peer tutoring sessions, as well as an active classroom and lab.
Throughout the morning, students, instructors and several representatives from Penske had an opportunity to see the Penske Room for the first time and partake in a ribbon cutting ceremony. The event also included presentations by Bob Kessler, Campus President at UTI-Exton, as well as Bill Jacobelli, Senior Vice President of Maintenance, Penske Truck Leasing.
The decision to build the room came as a result of the great relationship UTI-Exton has developed over time with Penske, as well as Penske’s growing demand for highly-skilled technicians, particularly in this region. The company hires a significant volume of UTI graduates and invests a substantial amount in students’ education, as evidenced by the Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award program established among UTI’s 11 campuses nationwide.
Penske Truck Leasing also has established a Diesel Excellence Scholarship program, where a dozen scholarships are handed out each year to UTI students across all campuses.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over a million jobs exist today in the auto, diesel, and collision repair industries with growth of 17% projected through the year 2020. Yet it continues to be a challenge for auto dealers and transportation companies across the country to find and hire workers who are armed with the knowledge and experience necessary to adapt and keep pace with the rapidly evolving vehicle landscape. With a challenging curriculum customized to meet changing industry needs, UTI is providing a solution to our country’s tech shortage by arming students with the hands-on, highly skilled training required to become successful auto and diesel technicians.
UTI’s partnership with Penske is a perfect example of how the school is answering the current skills gap demand from the employer side. Penske is just one of more than 30 partnerships UTI has established with automotive industry manufacturers and transportation providers, demonstrating the value UTI places on education and, ultimately, career placement for its students. In forging these partnerships with employers, UTI is able to create additional manufacturer-specific curriculums and provide more advanced, hands-on training to students to prepare them for post-graduate, real-world experience.
“One of our largest employment needs is skilled truck maintenance technicians and maintenance managers,” said Jacobelli. “We enjoy working with UTI to help us fill the pipeline of talented, well-trained technicians. We value our relationship with UTI to hire graduates to maintain our 6,600-person North American truck maintenance workforce and field maintenance management.”
Industry partnerships such as this one have proven to be such a powerful and influential asset to UTI’s education curriculum and the success of its students, and can be illustrated by their job placement rate. Since 2010, Penske has hired over 50 graduates from UTI’s Exton campus alone to work at locations across the country.
“On behalf of the entire Exton campus and everyone at UTI, we are incredibly appreciative of Penske’s significant investment in our students’ education and the positive impact the company has made – and will continue to make -- on students as they pursue careers in the automotive and diesel industry,” said Kessler.
For more information about the Universal Technical Institute campus in Exton, click here.