UTI Opens New Jersey Campus, Updates Transformation Plan

On Oct. 24, Universal Technical Institute (UTI) celebrated the grand opening of its Bloomfield, NJ campus — its 13th overall and first in the Tri-State area. The 108,000-square-foot facility will focus on training in automotive and diesel service technology. UTI expects to enroll as many as 800 students a year.

The Ford Motor Co. will offer its Ford Accelerated Credential Training (FACT) at UTI-Bloomfield. This 15-week advanced program trains students to work with Ford’s computer diagnostics, electrical and diesel technologies. Students are eligible to take Ford FACT after they successfully complete UTI’s core automotive or diesel programs.

The opening is part of UTI’s Transformation Plan, meant to produce new student growth and improved graduation rates. The program calls for investing in marketing and admissions, retention, and student services.

UTI statistics for 2018 are as follows …
• The total number of students who started school in the fiscal fourth quarter (the three months ended Sept. 30, 2018) increased 8.5 percent to 6,022 compared to a year ago.
• High school student starts grew 13.6 percent, reflecting a 390-basis point improvement.
• Adult show rate improved by 50 basis points, but student starts were even with the prior year, as a strong labor market and historically low unemployment pressured this segment.
• Overall, new student starts for fiscal 2018 were up 1.2 percent compared to 2017, marking the first growth in new student starts in eight years.

In related news, UTI has terminated its contract with McKinsey & Co., the education consulting firm it hired to help with the transformation plan. The early exit will cost UTI $3.95 million, according to an SEC filing, but UTI president and CEO Kim McWaters expects savings in the long run.

“We appreciate our partner’s efforts to help UTI improve business processes and strategies to better meet the needs of students and our industry partners,” McWaters said in a statement.  “We have now successfully developed the internal capability and expertise to execute our Transformation Plan without the ongoing support of our consultant.”