There is no way UTI will survive with the gigantic campuses they have now. Across the board at all of the campuses, student numbers are down. The student population at the Norwood campus is around 350 or so, NTI is at 1000 give or take. All of the campuses are in some of the most densely populated areas of the country. The Norwood campus was designed to hold 2400 students. The max they ever had (1400 give or take) was no where near that in the 14 years that it has been opened. If they can't get 350 students to enroll in a large campus how in the hell will they be able to get 600 students to enroll in a smaller campus? Once again UTI's management fails to see the root cause of the problem. Why would a student pay a $40,000 tuition for a certificate from UTI (yes UTI does not offer any degree programs except at one campus) and wind up starting out making $16.00 an hour, the starting pay for an auto technician. The shops love this. (They also have to supply their own tools at what ever shop they work at by the way.) What it comes down to is that the prospective students that do there research before they enroll, choose another career path. Electrician, plumber, or some other trade with a union. The military veterans are the only smart ones. They use their G.I. bill to attend a UTI campus with most of them never intending to find a job in the auto field. Many of them can't work because of some kind of disability. They are attending school because they are getting paid to be there. " Real Estate Rationalization" Kim's code word for campus closure is the only way to go. Even that may not be enough.
20 replies (most recent on top)
I got s—red into going into UTI when I was 19 and just out of High School. The rep/salesman told me Id be making 80 k a year working for BMW. I guess I should have known better. I went to a great Vocational school taking automotive that far surpassed my experience in 07" at the Exton campus. They treated you like ten year old, and the whole thing was a joke. I was working in the trade while attending, and would not even tell potential employers that I was attending UTI because it had such a bad reputation; Imagine that. I ve been saying for years I should of became a plumber, or electrician instead of working in that sh8t trade. I suffred for 11 years; why, I dont know. Now I got to figure out how to pay off the rest of my remaining loan so I can buy a house. These places should be shut down and some of them should be jailed for what they have done to Americas youth. Scum.
I graduated from MMI-Orlando, which is owned by UTI and never went there so I can't speak for UTI but everyone I graduated with had a job before they even left school making ALOT more than $16 an hour. The problem I see isn't with the schools, it's with the dealerships and employers. They are no longer willing to help students fresh out of school relocate, so a student is supposed to go for school and then buy 10k worth of tools and move somewhere to work on their own dime. I got lucky and got a job with a dealership with-in driving distance of an old Army buddy who had a room i could crash in for a couple months but other wise it would have been on me.... I don't really consider relocation a big deal either, Dealerships make money hand over fist, pay the first 2-3 months on a cheap apartment, help them relocate and get set-up, that's something you can write off on taxes as a business expense. That's really whats wrong with the automotive world now a days. It's not really the schools it's the business.
I went to UTI Exton and graduated in 2016, reading all these reply’s made me sad, because they are all true. I always wanted to look back on my school and be proud of where I can from but getting dumped into the real world of this transportation industry is ugly. I would never recommend being a mechanic to anyone and I steer everyone away from the idea of ever being one. Thankfully I made it, I left school got a job at a dealership (just like they try and set you up to do) it wasn’t long until I was flat rate and got fed up with no work, not making money, and an hourly wage.. I moved on to an hourly shop working on heavy equipment, it’s much better but the benefits are nothing special.. Your really beating your body up in this Industry, spending a lot of money in tools just to be able to do your job but it doesn’t pay well like most other trades.. I’m trying to get into a Union now, with good benefits. It’s hard in this industry, and if I get into a job like that I will most likely be working second or third shift for a few years.. If I could do it all over again, my life would be easier.
I was a student at uti school in Glendale heights and my father was ill and I was falling behind in class and I had not paid my tuition yet or paid for my books or tools
Graduate of uti exton. Waste of 40k, i make the same before as after graduating with a 3.96. School is sh– they should all close. Between the hole I'm in plus the lack of wages, i burned out and stopped turning wrenches so i could support a family
Thank god this school is closing. They are scam artists. They have some guy come to your house and give you all this baloney about how much money your going to make when you get through. Both my sons and my nephew went to Norwood and at this time.. the three of them are not working in the field. They didn’t know enough to get anything more than minimum wage. Plus pay back school loans. This place is a total rip off.
I was as student at UTI Norwood in 2010-2011. I have to say I learned a lot from that place I still regularly use the course books to look up information that have some cobwebs on it. I have done well and make 75k a year. However, my experience at the school was not the best. I went in 2 years after high school and had lived on my own, traveled, and went to college first. I was expecting a school that teaches professionalism as part of its curriculum to be similar to a college type setup. I mean if you want to be here and pay $40,000 its up to you to succeed. Instead the school handholds the people that act up and do not pay attention. The people who do pay attention and really want to be there and learn are held back by the people who don't because the teachers spend the whole time coddling and playing high school teacher. I got between a 90-100 on every test both in class and lab but was constantly being pestered by teachers and education managers who wanted to nit pick if I needed to take a phone call outside the building or leave a bit early to go to work when all of my lab work is done. College was really a sink or swim experience and they treated you like an adult. UTI treats you like a kid so they produce immature people that don't have a real sense of how to make it in the work force. Let me tell you what. The length of your hair, wearing a hat, and living you life by a bell schedule does not teach you how to be succesful in the the field. Instead is forces the smart people who want to do well and be treated like adults somewhere else and that is why there is such a huge shortage of good technicians.
Long term employee until recently. I have seen many employees come and go at our campus. From financial aid to student services to instructors, education managers, admissions, directors even campus presidents. Some of those leaving left of their own choosing, some were fired because of job performance and some were forced out due to reductions in force. I left on my own by the way. Unbelievable amount of turnover!
A good number of those who were fired or laid off were good employees but p-ss-d off their manager in some way. Once your manager had it in for you, they would paint an unfavorable picture of you with the management team. Once that happened, they would start documenting every little thing you may have done that was against their official policies while other employees or management would break those same rules.The next step was a PIP (Personal improvement Plan). Once that happened that was pretty much it. You were never digging yourself out of that hole.
I would bet few if any of those former employees would have anything good to say about working at UTI. I actually see it on social media with the ones I am still in contact with. UTI is fighting this image portrayed by former employees from all of it's campuses I'll bet. Not to mention the thousands of unhappy former students posting on internet forums.
The interesting thing about the students is that they are surveyed after each 3 week course and management sees this data. We get to see the data and the surveys are generally favorable, actually to the point of them being very happy at UTI. From my perspective, the student surveys reflect their opinion about their instructor on a personal level. They may have the same instructor for multiple courses throughout their program and actually build some sort of a relationship with most of them. They don't want to get the instructor in any hot water so they just check off all fours and fives, (favorable numbers on the survey). Most of the time they don't even read the questions on the 20 or 40 question survey. Management/home office sees this and assume everything is going great and never change anything. When the students get out into the real world however it's a totally different ball game as most look back at their time at UTI as a waste of time and money and tell other students not to sign up.
I just did the math, a student without a parent loan, using the pell grant, federal loans and possibly private loans may be looking at paying from $300-$400 a month for the loans they would take to get their certificate. Paying that back at $16.00 is harsh. Potential UTI students should take note.
Yes, UTI certainly cannibalized itself. It started with why open a Long Beach campus? WyoTech closed Long Beach and then UTI opens Long Beach. Get out while you still can.
I have contact with people at several of the campuses and I am told employees across the organization from the top down are anxious about the companies ability to attract and retain students. There has been a continuous enrollment decline at all of the campuses. When a new campus is opened, there will be a spike in enrollment metrics because of the new campus but this doesn't paint an accurate picture of the overall businesses health.
They have cannibalized themselves. Too many locations not enough of a market. You can only have a certain number of business selling the same product within a certain proximity to one another. Their product of automotive education has a limited demographic that would be willing to buy it. Supply and demand.
The curriculum is less than out of date. The school doesn't prepare students for real world employment. Most of the graduates can't change oil or replace a belt correctly. It is no surprise this company is closing campuses.
Good luck to our coworkers at the Norwood campus. All I can say is that at other campuses the mood is not great about the whole thing. Overall student numbers are down and that is always a constant worry. We hear it at every meeting we go to. You get the vibe from management that things aren't great. Everyone wonders if there will be another RIF or that campus closure is next.
I just don't understand why they felt the need to open more campuses when the existing ones were not even close to being filled. Poor Management clearly!
Some of the other posters commented about the starting pay in the field as $16.00 per hour, in our area it's actually less than that!
Good luck and God Bless!
Directly connected to UTI's failure is the current shortage of mechanics. You keep hearing about the tens of thousands of mechanics needed in the US. There is a reason for the shortage that is not figured into the equation.
Auto mechanics are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to pay compared to the other trades. Who would want to work flat rate at a relatively low hourly rate and not be sure you will be able to make 40 hours? A lot of people get into the repair business for a few years but leave because of the pay and flate rate BS. Trust me I have seen it over and over. And UTI wants people to pay them for this?
See slide 14. "Divestment in Real Estate" It makes sense.
To the point someone made before me about management. That campus, Norwood has had 6 different campus presidents, 6 or 7 different education directors, well over 20 different education managers since it has been open. Instructors come and go routinely along with support staff like student services and financial aid. I think the situation is similar at the other campuses. This really speaks volumes about overall company healty.
I think our campus will soon be in the same situation as or friends in Norwood. At one time there was employees leaving and new ones starting every day.
When they opened the Bloomfield campus so close to us, everyone started to wonder if it was our replacement. Much of how this company is portrayed on their website is untrue sad to say. I think its catching up with them now.
When I worked there I got the impression that management at home office had no idea on how to turn the business around. They would put out surveys and ask employees their input, They would come up with another way of doing things just for the sake of trying it or hire an outside consulting firm and waste millions. Just another flavor of the week. It was funny really. One time that had a select group of employees maybe about 25 or so from all of the different departments in a room and they broke them into teams. The people services woman running it from home office had everyone write down ideas on how to make the company better or improve internal processes and then attach them to one of seven or so poster boards hung around the classroom. To make a long story short the winning ideas were things like more employee lunches and more days where you could come to work and dress casual. Really! I always thought that it was strange that for the most part the upper management at UTI had no automotive industry experience. An instructor or two would sometime rise to the level of program manager or something like that but that was it. They run the business as if it were a fortune 500 tech company or silicon valley startup. Home office is so disconnected from the auto industry. The auto industry is a fast moving industry that changes rapidly and often and UTI is being run like it is 1995. Now that I think of it, that probably explains their outdated curriculum. If they spent half as much time fixing their outdated course material as they did on dumb time consuming worthless projects they might have a chance of actually attracting more students.
$40,000 is a terrible. First, even if a student qualifies for a grant, max it would be like $8000-9000 ($6095 year and prorated half for the few months after). Federal loans could be $7,500-$12,500. That leaves students with anywhere from a $20,000 to a $24,000 leftover balance. That's where the high pressure begins for UTI employees to make the parents/student secure parent loans or private loans. For a certificate, this is ridiculous. Just go to a community college! CCs are even doing certificate programs now so students don't have to sit through history or literature.
Unfortunately, I do recall a few years ago how some admission representatives were able to sell the certificate program so well. I don't know what they did but sometimes they brought newly signed up students to financial aid the Friday before class started or even a few hours before the first day with the students visibly shocked at that they signed their life away when all they wanted was a tour. Oh well, there's a s---er born every minute. But that was years ago, I don't know if reps still get these flies that fly right into their web.
I only remember one admission rep guilted unemployed fathers into signing up. "Do it for your girlfriend, your kid, step up and take responsibility, you keep putting this off do it for your family, think of your graduation how proud you'll make them". To any perspective student reading this, please keep in mind, if you're getting thousands of dollars into debt, the rep doesn't care about you or your family, he or she just needs you to meet their quota.
Anyways, military students are wasting their GI Bill. They'll feel silly of they try to go back to get a degree one day only to find they depleted most of their GI bill on a paper certificate.
When I heard the news I had to laugh. I attended the Norwood UTI campus as a student in 2013 and I am not sure how they lasted this long. I learned some things about cars from the instructors who are pretty good. Well most of them anyway. But the school itself is a scam and should be shut down. There is no hands on like they tell you when you sign up. Its all classroom. When you do go to lab your doing things not really related to the real world of auto repair. Lots of electrical tests that nobody really does in the field. all the equipment is broken and out of date. All the powerpoint slides are from like 1950. They pretty much just push you through to get your money. There were students there when I was there that couldnt locate where a spark plug or waterpump was on an engine but they still got through. I work in a shop now but am looking to get out. The pay s---s. Flat rate s---s. Had I known all of this before hand I would have never gone.
For $40,000, you get a "certificate" from Universal Technical Institute and can try to get a job at a repair shop or auto dealership. The reason why they can't attract students is that the starting wage for an entry level mechanic is $16.00/hour. Not to mention auto mechanics are required to buy their own tools and need to invest $10,000 or more just to get started. So now you have student loans, and a tool bill for a couple of hundred a month and low wages. I looked at going to one of the UTI campuses but after doing some research I decided to become an electrician. Once I got in the union I was able to make a much more of a living for myself.