Universal Technical Institute has teamed with NASCAR to open a school specializing in general automotive and motor sports technology.
The $12 million, 146,000-square-foot NASCAR Technical Institute opened in May in Mooresville, N.C. The school trains technicians mainly for dealerships - for maintenance, not performance. It has 150 employees and can train 1,900 students a day. Classes begin July 1.
Including the new school, Universal has five automotive training sites nationally. Universal's headquarters is in Phoenix. Kimberly McWaters, Universal's president, hopes the new school will reduce the shortage of technicians.
The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association reports that for every 10 technicians who retire or change careers, only three enter the work force.
The NASCAR brand and the appeal of racing are expected to attract people who otherwise might not consider a career as an automotive technician.
"We do think the NASCAR brand will draw a number of students and parents to the automotive services industry," McWaters said.
NASCAR holds 2,200 races in 40 states annually. It estimates it has 75 million fans nationwide.