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Universal Technical Institute Graduates take Top Honors in Industry Competition

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., (September 23, 2016) – Manufacturer competitions in the auto and diesel industry serve to highlight technicians who are outstanding in their knowledge and skills, and reward those with a drive to succeed.

“We launched the Penske Elite Technician program to recognize technicians as a key component of our business,” said Anthony R. Pordon, executive vice president, investor relations and corporate development, Penske Automotive Group. “The program was designed to showcase technicians who have exceptional skills and to reward them for their skills, expertise and contributions to our company. UTI-trained techs are regularly among our top performers across the nation.”

Matt Johnson - 2016 Penskee Lite TechniciannationalwinnerCompetition details vary and generally include a series of timed, written exams along with multiple troubleshooting and repair diagnostic sections designed to highlight technicians with superior knowledge and performance.

“It’s rewarding to see our graduates continually perform at such high levels and be recognized for their skills by our industry customers,” said Chuck Barresi, senior vice president, Customer Solutions at UTI. “We are proud to provide a solid foundation for them to launch their careers in the industry and want to congratulate them on their success.”

UTI graduates were among many industry award winners and finalists, including Nathan Reed (pictured above), Navistar Top Service Technician Award for Truck, and Matt Johnson, Penske Elite Technician of the Year. Additionally, five of the nine Penske Elite Technician finalists were UTI graduates.

Reed, a service technician for RWC International in Phoenix, was one of 13 top service technicians from International and IC Bus dealers across the United States and Canada selected to compete in the 2016 Navistar Technician Rodeo held at the Navistar Woodridge Facility in Lisle, Illinois. He was awarded a Snap-on® toolbox and cash prize, and will represent the U.S. in the Best of America competition in early 2017. Reed graduated in 2009 from UTI-Glendale Heights’ Diesel & Industrial Technology program and the 15-week International Technician Education Program (ITEP), one of UTI’s manufacturer-specific advanced training programs.

Johnson, a service technician for Penske BMW North Scottsdale, was one of 120 technicians — 22 from Arizona — nominated for the Penske Elite Technician program. After a regional competition, he was one of three named to represent the Western Region when finalists went head-to-head in written and hands-on competitions in North Carolina. In addition to being recognized as the Technician of the Year, Johnson also was awarded Snap-on® tool credits, a cash prize and VIP tickets to the Indianapolis 500 as a special guest of Team Penske.

“The most valuable part of this entire competition were the connections I made throughout the experience,” said Johnson. “I also saw firsthand how my employer values technicians as part of the team, and is looking to recognize our contribution and is seeking our input.”

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