The Universal Technical Institute cut the ribbon this week at its new 108,000 square foot, state-of-the-industry campus outside of New York City.
Its Bloomfield, New Jersey campus marks the company’s first location in the tri-state area and its 13th campus nationwide. As the region’s strong demand for skilled transportation service technicians continues to grow, the campus will train students to succeed in high-tech, well-paying jobs, which offer opportunities to build long-term careers, UTI says.
A week after the inaugural class of students began their first programs at UTI-Bloomfield, an energetic crowd assembled in the campus’ expansive training facility. Among the speakers were Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia, Essex County Freeholder Carlos Pomares, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, and Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, representing New Jersey political leaders from the most local level to the State Legislature.
“This school is important not just for Bloomfield, not just for Essex County, but it is really important for Northern New Jersey and all of the state,” said Carlos Pomares, Essex County Freeholder. “This highly-skilled training is not available everywhere, and we have a very dense population with a million cars on the road, so we are very excited for the resources UTI brings to the community both in terms of job opportunities and for New Jersey businesses.”
Those attending included major New Jersey transportation employers, many of whom offer tuition reimbursement programs and hiring incentives to UTI graduates. UTI partners with 30 of the nation’s leading transportation brands – including BMW, Cummins, Ford, Freightliner, Mercedes-Benz, NASCAR, Peterbilt, Porsche and Volvo – who help guide UTI’s training programs, invest in its facilities and give UTI students the chance to train on current vehicles, technology and tools.
Following the ribbon cutting, attendees were given tours of the campus and got a first-hand look at the classrooms and hands-on training labs outfitted with the equipment, technology and sophisticated digital systems that power modern vehicles.
Overall, the campus represents a more than $11 million investment by UTI in the region. It has the capacity to train up to 800 students each year in Automotive and Diesel Technology. Students can be ready to work in as little as 11 months in the 45-week diesel program and graduate the core automotive program in just 51 weeks. A soon-to-be-announced manufacturer-specific advanced training program will also be offered.
The campus will predominantly serve a commuter population, allowing students to access UTI’s quality education without leaving home. That, combined with a flexible curriculum that helps students work classroom time into their work and family schedules, will make it easier and more affordable to attend UTI.
“Our employer and industry partners are telling us that they can’t find enough skilled technicians to meet their demand, especially in a transportation hub like the New York metropolitan area,” said UTI-Bloomfield Campus President Steve McElfresh. “From a community perspective, these are fantastic career opportunities that allow graduates to support themselves and their families, and we are excited to provide their first few steps.”
Industry demand for trained transportation technicians continues to accelerate. Most recently, the federal government tripled its estimate for the number of transportation technicians needed nationwide by 2026. According to projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be more than 1.2 million job openings in the automotive, diesel and collision repair industries by that time. To help reach that total, the transportation industry will have to fill more than 120,000 technician job openings annually on average.
A formal community grand opening will be held at the Bloomfield campus on October 24.