UTI and Peterbilt achieve milestone for tech education

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Universal Technical Institute (UTI) and Peterbilt are celebrating several milestones for the Peterbilt Technician Institute (PTI) this month.

The 1000th graduate has completed the program, which is offered by UTI's Lisle, Ill., and Dallas, Texas campuses to help meet Peterbilt's ongoing demand for diesel technicians. The recognition comes as Peterbilt and UTI celebrate the program's 10th year.

Graduate Jason Neumann, who has the honor of becoming the program's 1000th graduate, came to the program as a recent graduate of UTI's diesel technician training program at UTI-Lisle. Neumann is a U.S. Army veteran who worked on diesel vehicles during his service.

"I've always loved working on anything with an engine, so I chose the diesel industry," says Neumann. "Peterbilt has always been my favorite truck brand, so I thought dealer-specific training would be good to have prior to starting my career. Now, I'm looking forward to learning and growing as a tech with my new employer, JX Enterprises, and someday managing a dealership."

The PTI program runs for 12 weeks and offers students the opportunity to earn Peterbilt certifications as they learn to diagnose, repair and maintain Peterbilt vehicles and products.

Instructor Tony Spadafina, who's been training technicians for the Peterbilt Technician Institute since 2015, is also celebrating his 20th anniversary with UTI. Prior to the PTI program, Tony held various instructor positions at the UTI-Lisle campus. He was instrumental in establishing the Diesel Core Program and served as the Technical Team Lead for Truck Brakes and Truck Preventative Maintenance.

"It's been an honor to work with these students the last 20 years, helping put them on the path to a successful career with a company like Peterbilt," says Spadafina. "The Manufacturer-Specific Advanced Training Programs at UTI, like the PTI program, continue to see demand from our industry partners. We're thankful partners like Peterbilt are investing in those programs and helping ensure our students are gainfully employed upon graduation."

"This marks a truly remarkable milestone in UTI's journey as we celebrate the graduation of the 1000th student from our Peterbilt program and commemorate the 20th anniversary of one of our invaluable faculty members," adds UTI Division President Tracy Lorenz. "Our graduates carry with them not just knowledge but also the values instilled by our faculty, like Mr. Spadafina, and we are confident that they will continue to uphold the standard of excellence set by them."

The program has been key for many of the 420 qualified Peterbilt dealerships across North America, helping them keep the transportation industry moving.

"We are proud and honored to have a great relationship with Peterbilt Motors and Universal Technical Institute for the PTI program," says Hannah Freeman, director of continuous improvement at JX Enterprises. "We have had outstanding success with a number of the recruits from the program that have contributed to JX's growth. We look forward to a continued, strong relationship and hiring more PTI graduates in our four states."

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