Universal Technical Institute (UTI) is launching ‘Ignite,’ a free program to train high school juniors in fundamental automotive and diesel repair technician skills. The three-week Ignite summer program runs from June 11 to June 29 at the Lisle campus and will offer students an introduction to automotive engines, including fundamentals, construction, and overhaul procedures. Students will learn how to measure and refurbish engine blocks, inspect crankshafts and cylinder heads, inspect and repair valve trains, use repair and labor rate manuals, and understand cooling system theory. The course will also afford students the opportunity to develop professionalism skills to use in their future careers. “We’re seeing significant demand for UTI graduates across the transportation sector, and our employer partners tell us they need more trained technicians,” said Julie Mueller, president of Universal Technical Institute – Lisle. “Our Ignite program is a great way to introduce high school students to a UTI education and open their eyes to the many career opportunities available to trained transportation technicians.” The Ignite curriculum emphasizes the high-tech nature of today’s transportation industry. Students will also have the opportunity to explore career opportunities in the transportation field while meeting industry employers. In 2017, UTI successfully piloted the Ignite program at three campuses: Avondale, AZ; Houston, TX; and Orlando, FL. Each of the programs yielded a strong interest from students, a large percentage of whom indicated their intention to return to UTI as full-time students after graduating high school. Additionally, these students were prepared for testing to receive credit toward future UTI coursework, enabling them to complete a UTI education and begin a career in the transportation sector faster than before. 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 new projections, there will be more than 1.2 million job openings in the automotive, diesel and collision repair industries. To help reach that total, the transportation industry will have to fill more than 120,000 technician job openings annually on average. “Ignite is a great way to get students excited about these careers and keep them engaged as they make decisions about their path coming out of high school,” said Mueller. “If you know a high school junior who has a passion for cars or enjoys working with their hands, encourage them to apply for the Ignite program. They might find a career they love.” The Ignite program is now accepting applications across UTI’s 12 campuses. For more information or to enroll, visit https://www.uti.edu/programs/ignite.