Universal Technical Institute-Exton, a tech school headquartered in Phoenix with 15 campuses across the U.S., announced in a statement the launch of a new curriculum in its Ford FACT (Ford Accelerated Credential Training) program to prepare its students to keep the next generation of vehicles on the road. As automotive technicians are in demand and as the electric vehicle market continues to grow, those with knowledge of high-voltage batteries and electric vehicles will be essential.
The course is key in UTI's overall EV strategy, which includes enhancing its core curriculum, enhancing and offering new EV certifications in certain manufacturer-specific advanced training (MSAT) programs, and developing new training models and partnership opportunities to expand UTI's overall EV ecosystem, according to the statement.
The new Ford EV curriculum will feature blended courses on high-voltage systems safety, hybrid vehicle components and operation, battery electric vehicle (BEV) components and operation, an introduction to high voltage battery service, and a Ford instructor-led class on hybrid and electric vehicle operation and diagnosis.
"Ford has been working with UTI for more than 20 years to ensure our students receive state-of-the-industry training," said Robert Kessler, campus president at UTI-Exton in the statement. "They’ve made a substantial investment by providing us with a brand-new Aviator, so our students are getting their hands on a cutting edge, premium EV. Demand for our graduates remains strong, with four out of five landing a job in the industry after graduating from UTI. By staying at the forefront of new technologies like EV, we are building the workforce of tomorrow and helping supply automakers like Ford with the skilled technicians they need to adapt to consumer demand."
Ford is providing a new PHEV vehicle to each campus so students receive hands-on training and use of virtual reality goggles that will be utilized in the company's training curriculum. This gives Ford FACT graduates the opportunity to achieve Ford’s High Voltage Systems Certification, in addition to the 11 certifications the program already offers. Earning these certifications makes graduates more marketable, and helps ensure they can immediately contribute to a dealership’s service output.
Nine of UTI’s campuses currently offer Ford FACT, a 15-week advanced training program that prepares students to work with Ford’s technology, computer diagnostics, electrical, gasoline, and diesel technologies. Students are eligible to take Ford FACT after they successfully complete UTI's core automotive or auto/diesel programs. Since Ford and UTI launched FACT in 1999, more than 25,000 students have graduated from the program.
“Electric vehicles are the future, so this will help dealerships down the road,” added Yaz Beganovic, director of fixed operations, Ciocca Dealerships. “Most manufacturers have at least one electric vehicle now, and more are coming. This enhanced Ford FACT training will help provide Ford dealerships with certified and trained technicians ready to do the work.”