As industry partners of Universal Technical Institute (NYSE: UTI), Team Penske and Würth USA have found a creative and high-profile way to honor recent graduates of the nation's leading automotive technician training school - on the roof of the No. 2 Ford Mustang driven by Brad Keselowski in the NASCAR Cup Series.
On July 19, a total of 225 graduates who completed their education at one of UTI's 13 campuses nationwide since the COVID-19 pandemic began will be watching their names race around the track at Texas Motor Speedway. Team Penske's No. 2 Würth USA/UTI Class of 2020 Ford Mustang, driven by 2012 Champion Keselowski, will feature a one-of-a-kind paint scheme with the names of UTI's recent graduates.
The team effort gives students who weren't able to participate in traditional graduation ceremonies the recognition they deserve for their achievements.
"We are extremely proud of our 2020 graduates for succeeding during these unprecedented and uncertain times," said Jerome Grant, CEO, Universal Technical Institute. "Demand for skilled technicians will remain high as our nation recovers from the pandemic. UTI graduates deliver services essential to the economy and keep our nation's vehicles maintained and running in industries like healthcare, agriculture, energy and distribution. We are grateful to Team Penske and Würth USA for their ongoing partnership and for this generous recognition of our graduates."
Würth USA CEO Aaron Brading says the graduates' names will also be displayed on Texas Motor Speedway's famous "Big Hoss TV," the largest video board of its kind in the world.
"Universal Technical Institute is a purpose-driven organization that continues to take an active role in combatting the current U.S. labor crisis through education and training," said Brading. "The professionalism and expertise UTI instills in its graduates are qualities commonly found in the technicians that put their trust in our products and services every day. Our partnership with UTI is a perfect marriage between highly-skilled men and women who demand the highest quality Würth products to get their jobs done right the first time."
"Everything we do at Würth is about our customers. From automotive and manufacturing, to construction and woodworking, to MRO and fasteners - we serve the men and women who are building and shaping the future of our country and keep America moving forward," said Thomas O'Neill, Executive Vice President of the Würth Group. "These individuals include skilled technicians who are the lifeblood of the automotive and trucking industry. These UTI 2020 graduates deserve to be recognized and we are thrilled to utilize our racing platform to make it a special and memorable experience for them."
For Team Penske and the Penske Corporation, this is another way to thank UTI for training the skilled talent that helps them succeed on and off the track. They've employed more than 2,000 UTI graduates in the last decade, and currently have graduates of UTI's NASCAR Technical Institute
working on pit crews for Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney.
"Universal Technical Institute graduates have the skills to deliver for our organization, which is why we rely on UTI to help us identify new talent," said Roger Penske. "UTI has not only helped us win on the race track, its graduates work throughout our organization. This special paint scheme is a great way to recognize the recent graduates of UTI and celebrate our partnership. We look forward to honoring the UTI graduates on the No. 2 car in Texas next weekend."
Central Managing Board Member of the Würth Group, Dr. Steffen Greubel, calls the strong partnership between UTI, Team Penske and Würth a sustainable and long-term investment in the future and in up-and-coming staff.
"We are highly pleased to celebrate the graduate technicians of UTI and I wish them much success in their professional careers," said Greubel. "As Reinhold Würth, the man who has turned his parents' two-man business into today's worldwide operating Würth Group, once said, 'What you cannot imagine, you will never achieve.'"
The race will be broadcast live on Sunday, July 19 at 2 pm CT on NBC Sports Network and The Performance Racing Network (PRN) radio.