UTI program

CATA's Charver Perez went through the Ignite program. Photo courtesy of UTI

MOORESVILLE – NASCAR Technical Institute is celebrating another successful year of the Ignite program, a free, three-week introduction to automotive technician training for rising high school seniors in the greater Charlotte area.

Five local students, including Porter Ridge's Mario Duran and CATA's Charver Perez, had the opportunity to earn credits toward a Universal Technical Institute program through intensive, hands-on training, while also learning about high-demand careers in the transportation industry. NASCAR Tech is a campus of Universal Technical Institute.

“With so much demand for skilled technicians nationwide, it’s been exciting to see the Ignite program continue to serve our local students over the last few years,” said Jennifer Bergeron, campus president at NASCAR Tech. “There’s never been a better time to work in transportation and the skilled trades; the need is abundant, and there are many opportunities. Through Ignite, students earn real-world, on-the-job experience while having doors opened to careers they may never have considered. We look forward to continuing the program at full capacity in summer 2022.”

Since the program's inception, NASCAR Tech has hosted more than 50 students.

Hundreds of high school juniors nationwide have received STEM training at no cost through Ignite and 60% of those students have enrolled to come back and attend UTI after they graduate high school.

NASCAR Tech graduate Dallas Hoover was part of the campus’ inaugural Ignite class. He said the course structure helped him understand what would be expected of him as a NASCAR Tech student, and what training to become an automotive technician would be like. He made the decision to attend NASCAR Tech after high school because of his Ignite experience, and he’s now thrilled to be working in the industry as a technician at a dealership near his hometown.

“I get to do what I like every day. I like working on the cars that come into our dealership,” Hoover said. “I definitely would tell high school students to take the Ignite program if they’re interested in cars. Ignite gives you a feel for the industry and the careers available. It’s free and you have to take those opportunities when they come your way.”

Ignite participants learn automotive basics as they complete courses, which provide an introduction to some of the programs completed by full-time UTI students. The Ignite curriculum allows students to explore career opportunities in the transportation field, receive hands-on training on today’s state-of-the-industry technologies and learn from UTI graduates and local employers about the career opportunities that may be available to trained technicians. Participants who complete the Ignite program are eligible to receive credit toward future UTI courses.

On the web: www.uti.edu/ignite.

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