Ryder System Inc., a leader in commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions, has donated $20,000 to the Universal Technical Institute Foundation to help meet the urgent and growing demand for trained diesel technicians.
The funds will support students who attend the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) campus in Lisle, Ill.
“As companies continue to outsource their fleet management and supply chain services to Ryder, demand for expert maintenance technicians will only increase,” said Dennis Cooke, president of Global Fleet Management Solutions, Ryder. “This donation demonstrates to our customers that we are actively working to support one of the nation’s leading providers of highly trained transportation service technicians in their efforts to develop future talent.”
As part of its relationship with UTI, Ryder held a “Next Top Tech Challenge” at the UTI-Lisle campus. Nine UTI students worked alongside Ryder technicians to participate in three technical challenge stations and took a written exam to test their knowledge and skills based on various mechanical failures and solutions.
Warren Hindriks was named the first place winner, and was awarded an internship at Ryder. The second place winner was Wilmer Leon, and Liberty Coleman was the third place winner. As winners of the Next Top Tech Challenge, all three students earned tuition scholarship awards ranging from $2,500 to $1,000. Funding for the scholarships came from Ryder’s $20,000 donation to the school.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with specialized skills are in high demand. The nation will need 1.2 million automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, and marine service technicians by 2022. According to government projections, this will mean an average of 37,000 job openings annually.
At the same time, the increasing complexity of modern vehicles, rising compliance costs, and the move toward green technology mean many companies are outsourcing their fleet management and supply chain services to third-party companies with specific expertise, like Ryder.
“Companies turn to Ryder to solve their transportation and logistics challenges and because they can count on us to deliver strong, reliable service,” said Cooke. “Technicians are on the front lines of our commitment to our customers, and we rely on schools like UTI to train them. Contributing scholarship funds to the UTI Foundation is an investment that makes sense for our business.”
Ryder employs 5,400 trained technicians.