The PTG-UTI partnership is an excellent opportunity to support our nation’s heroes as they transition out of military service,” said Scott Moss, Executive Vice President, Human Resources & Administration at Premier Truck Group. “Many of the program participants bring a strong work ethic and strong technical skills when they begin, and the program gives them additional experience working on our customer’s trucks and the components installed in their vehicles. Since launching the program two years ago, we have placed 40 graduate veterans in jobs at our locations.
EL PASO and DALLAS, Texas — Universal Technical Institute (NYSE: UTI) and Premier Truck Group (PTG) offer transitioning military service members a first-of-its-kind, tuition-free, on-base diesel-commercial technician training program at the U.S. Army’s Fort Bliss location in El Paso, Texas. Launched in 2021, the 12-week program provides industry-aligned training that leads directly to employment for graduating military members transitioning to civilian life.
“Veterans are talented and agile, and among the most dedicated, capable and disciplined students and employees we’ve met,” stated Jerome Grant, CEO of UTI. “It is our privilege to support them. That’s why we have built a welcoming environment and programs like this that appreciates their service and sacrifice. We are committed to help our veterans reach their full potential.”
“The PTG-UTI partnership is an excellent opportunity to support our nation’s heroes as they transition out of military service,” said Scott Moss, Executive Vice President, Human Resources & Administration at Premier Truck Group. “Many of the program participants bring a strong work ethic and strong technical skills when they begin, and the program gives them additional experience working on our customer’s trucks and the components installed in their vehicles. Since launching the program two years ago, we have placed 40 graduate veterans in jobs at our locations.”
The PTG Diesel Tech Career Program curriculum includes hands-on technical training that focuses on diagnostic paths and service technologies unique to PTG. Graduates from the Program at Fort Bliss join the ranks of PTG's nearly 2,700 employees, including approximately 850 technicians. The company spans 39 commercial truck locations across the United States and Canada.
Yusef Davis, USA Sergeant First Class (E-7) Ret., was a working mechanic and a single parent when he joined the Army National Guard in 1997. While in basic training, he made the decision to transfer to active duty. As his military career was winding down while stationed at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, Davis considered enrolling at UTI’s Mooresville, NC campus. When he returned from his last deployment, he decided he wanted to move west and moved to Ft. Bliss for the remainder of his active duty. The first day he was on base, UTI was also on base recruiting soldiers for the program.
“The PTG Diesel Tech Career Program was the perfect fit for me as a mechanic and a soldier transitioning to civilian life,” commented Davis. “As I learned more about the program, I knew it would give me peace of mind during the transition, provide additional training and job opportunities once I graduated, and open doors for me in management or training. UTI and PTG made and continue to make the entire process incredibly easy from application through graduation, finding a PTG dealership that suited my needs and helping me find housing. I’m so grateful for this program. I’m where I want to be.”
Davis graduated from the program in February 2022 and started his civilian working career in April at Premier Truck Group’s Dallas location working on Freightliner and Western Star vehicles. In May, he used his GI Bill and a Salute to Heroes scholarship to enroll at UTI Dallas in its Auto Diesel and Diesel Technician II program. He is nearing completion of the Automotive Technician program and is on track to graduate the Diesel Technician II program in October 2023. Once he completes both programs, he will have an associate degree in Occupational Studies. Davis is also pursuing a Technical Management Degree from another institution.
Lance Henson, a USA chief warrant officer (CW4) Ret, is now employed at UTI as a PTG Diesel Tech Career Program instructor at Ft. Bliss. With extensive experience with trucks and other military vehicles as well as tactical weapons, climate control systems and welding, He attended the UTI Finish First Program in Avondale, Arizona to become an instructor and certified in the Freightliner systems. Following graduation, Henson chose to continue with UTI and became an instructor. He and Davis met in Germany many years ago while they were both stationed abroad.
“Being an instructor in this program allows me to give back to retirees and veterans so continuing with UTI was a perfect way to serve my brothers and sisters,” said Henson. “As a former soldier, I can relate to the students on so many levels. The process of retiring is a difficult task and daunting for soldiers. UTI and PTG make the transition a positive experience, and ease soldiers into life after military service knowing they have a career opportunity and resources to help them plan moving, budgeting for household expenses, insurance and finding housing, among other things. I tell everyone I can about this program.”
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 Premier Truck Group:
Premier Truck Group is an international medium-duty and heavy-duty commercial truck dealership group headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The company has locations throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon and Georgia in the United States and in Ontario, Canada, and offers a premium selection of new Freightliner, Western Star and Isuzu commercial vehicles, a large selection of previously owned commercial trucks and a full suite of maintenance and repair services with several of its locations open 24 hours every day, seven days per week. Premier Truck Group also offers a wide selection of retail parts and accessories. For more information, visit https://www.premiertruck.com/.