Our employers are looking for skilled and trained technicians especially women, who are not well represented in STEM and skilled-trade careers,” said Julie Mueller, UTI-Austin campus president. “Nayeli represents a promising group of welders who are part of our inaugural class enrolled in the Welding Technology training program in Austin. IGNITE Worldwide grants provide opportunities for eager students like Nayeli to obtain a meaningful career in an employment sector with great demand for a diverse workforce.
AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 6, 2022) –Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (NYSE: UTI) teamed up with IGNITE Worldwide to provide tuition grants for female and female-identifying students interested in pursuing a technical education at UTI and careers in STEM-related fields. IGNITE Worldwide and UTI made $100,000 in scholarships available; Nayeli Benitez, a resident of Manor in Travis County, placed 14th among the winners. She received $2,000 to use toward her education at the newly opened UTI-Austin campus. She began classes in UTI’s Welding Technology program on June 6, 2022.
As part of the grant application process, Benitez had to complete an application, including an essay-based component. She graduated from Manor High School in May 2016. In her essay, she mentions her mom, who works hard to provide for the family, as her inspiration. Benitez, herself, also held down several jobs to help with household expenses. She researched trade jobs like welding, trucking, HVAC, and plumbing, asked family members who were employed in the trades, did more research, and determined that a job in the welding industry would be a great opportunity that offered her a good salary and strong career path. Along with her parents, Benitez has received plenty of support. She notes that she already has people offering her jobs even though she started her program at UTI. When she’s questioned about her ability to keep up with men in this male-dominated industry, Benitez commented, “I will be strong enough to keep up with whoever I have to keep up with…I know what I’m capable of doing and I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t believe in myself.”
“Our employers are looking for skilled and trained technicians especially women, who are not well represented in STEM and skilled-trade careers,” said Julie Mueller, UTI-Austin campus president. “Nayeli represents a promising group of welders who are part of our inaugural class enrolled in the Welding Technology training program in Austin. IGNITE Worldwide grants provide opportunities for eager students like Nayeli to obtain a meaningful career in an employment sector with great demand for a diverse workforce.”
To learn more about the school’s training programs or to schedule a tour, please visit https://www.uti.edu/locations/texas/austin.
About Universal Technical Institute, Inc.
Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Phoenix, Universal Technical Institute's (NYSE: UTI) mission is to serve our students, partners, and communities by providing quality education and support services for in-demand careers. Approximately 250,000 students have graduated from one of UTI's 16 campuses located across Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Texas. UTI's campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), while its employer-aligned technical training programs are offered under four brands: Universal Technical Institute, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute / Marine Mechanics Institute, NASCAR Technical Institute, and MIAT College of Technology. For more information and a complete list of all programs offered, please visit www.uti.edu or follow on LinkedIn @UniversalTechnicalInstitute and on Twitter @news_UTI.
About IGNITE Worldwide
The IGNITE Worldwide Program works to directly address the gender and racial disparity experienced in STEM fields. By reaching the students at a young age, during the school day, we are able to encourage participating students to explore non-traditional STEM opportunities at their school, after graduation, and beyond.
IGNITE Worldwide provides a sustainable, scalable, and effective program that works with teachers and other educators to reach students during the school day. The overwhelming success and increased demand of our virtual programming this past year has encouraged us to increase our Program, by expanding into rural and underserved communities throughout Washington that previously faced barriers due to location and access. The upcoming 2021-2022 school year will now include more program offerings, including not just our standard in-person events but also virtual and hybrid opportunities. By working even more closely with our educators, volunteers, and sponsors we were able to provide engaging and successful events to rural communities. Currently the IGNITE Worldwide Program primarily serves Washington State and California.