Universal Technical Institute, Inc. UTI has announced its plan to launch Early Employment initiative, in Exton, Pennsylvania. This first-of-its-kind initiative is aimed to develop skilled employee pipelines and provide students an inside track about their careers. The initiative is expected to be launched in the Exton campus by February 2020.
Universal Technical initially started the Early Employment initiative at the Avondale, AZ campus in July 2019. With participating employers — Bayshore Truck Centers, CarSense, Ciocca Dealerships, Fred Beans Family of Dealerships, Herc Equipment, Republic Services and Rothrock Motor Sales – the company plans to roll out this initiative to all UTI campuses across the country.
The program will allow employers to screen students and hire them before the start of school. Moreover, students who meet their employers' criteria will receive compensation for their school-related expenses as well as possible other incentives and fulltime employment. Notably, the initiative is a perfect blend of post-secondary skills education along with on-the-job, apprenticeship-type training.
This initiative will help transportation industry employers to develop their talent and creating long-term careers. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that by 2026 there will be more than 1.2 million job openings (100,000 per year on average) in the transportation sector.
Early Employment Program to Drive Performance
Universal Technical has been addressing the changing needs of students as well as employers. Meanwhile, this hybrid education/apprenticeship approach is addressing critical workforce shortages throughout the skilled trades.
In fourth-quarter fiscal 2019, total starts improved 10.4% year over year. The upside was primarily driven by broad-based efforts, including refinements to grant and student contact strategies as well as increased effectiveness across campus operations. The company also witnessed improvement in its key student retention measures. The combination of higher starts and improved retention led to an increase in overall average student.
Coming to price performance, shares of Universal Technical have surged 108% in the past year compared with the industry’s 35.1% growth. The outperformance can be primarily attributed to the use of new marketing mix, more rep generated leads, focus on quick starts and expanded articulation grant programs.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Universal Technical currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are GP Strategies Corporation , New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. EDU and Acushnet Holdings Corp. GOLF each sporting a Zacks Rank #1.
GP Strategies has three-five year expected earnings per share growth rate of 15%.
New Oriental Education has trailing four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 12.1%. The company’s earnings beat estimates in two of the last four quarters.
Acushnet Holdings 2020 earnings are expected to rise 6.1%.
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