In the face of a global pandemic and record rates of unemployment, 95% of this summer’s Universal Technical Institute Volvo Service Automotive Factory Education (SAFE) program graduates have been offered transportation industry jobs. The program’s graduates are starting their new careers at Volvo dealerships across the country. Additionally, just two weeks into the current 12-week Volvo SAFE program, three Volvo dealerships are already recruiting students to work for them when they graduate in October.
“Companies like Volvo have kept selling cars during the pandemic, so they’re hungry for technicians,” says Kendrick Cowart, a graduate of the automotive program at UTI’s Lisle, IL, campus and the most recent Volvo SAFE class. Cowart is a newly hired technician at Rickenbaugh Volvo in Denver. “For someone who loves cars and technology, this is a great career and the opportunities are definitely there,” Cowart said.
Students from the Automotive Technology Program across UTI’s nationwide network of campuses are recruited for the Volvo SAFE advanced training program, which is offered exclusively at UTI. For students accepted into the program, Volvo pays students’ tuition and Volvo dealerships across the country hire many students upon, and sometimes before, graduation.
“The Volvo brand is built on safety and innovation and, as we continue to develop breakthrough, intuitive technology, our need for highly-skilled technicians is steadily increasing,” said Jeffrey Jennings, Senior Manager, Technical Training at Volvo Car USA. “The Volvo SAFE program gives students brand-specific skills and specialized understanding of the science and technology that goes into maintaining and servicing Volvo vehicles, which is why we partner with UTI to offer the program tuition-free to students who meet our requirements and come to work with our dealers upon graduation.”
“At a time when too many people face an uncertain job market, these UTI graduates are a testament to the continued strong demand for skilled transportation technicians and to the vital role they play in keeping America moving,” said Sherrell Smith, UTI executive vice president of campus operations. “The COVID-19 pandemic has opened our nation’s eyes to often previously overlooked essential workers and career paths, as evidenced by the number of good jobs waiting for our graduates.”
The current Volvo SAFE graduating class began the course in early May, during the heart of the pandemic, and participated in online learning for the first four weeks of the program. In June, they transitioned to CDC-compliant in-person labs, completed the hands-on portion of their education, and were recruited to work in Volvo dealerships.
The Volvo SAFE program gives students 15 factory credentials recognized by Volvo dealerships nationwide and puts them on the path to earning Master Volvo Technician status with ASE certifications and two years of work experience.
For more information, visit www.uti.edu.