AVONDALE, Ariz., Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Technical Institute (NYSE: UTI), the leading provider of post-secondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians, is launching the first General Motors Co. (GM) Technician Career Training program at its Avondale campus. Initially available only in Avondale, which serves as a destination campus to students from across the country, the GM program joins more than 30 other leading manufacturer-specific advanced training (MSAT) programs to help fill a nationwide demand for professional automotive service technicians. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140129/LA55412) The GM Technician Career Training program was developed in partnership with GM and Raytheon Professional Services (RPS), GM's training services provider for the past 15 years. To meet the needs of a progressive industry partner, graduates will receive credits which prepare them for certification through GM's Service Technical College. "The availability of qualified, trained automotive technicians is and will continue to be a critical area of importance for GM," said Mike Durkin, Director Dealer Service and Warranty Operations, at GM. "When looking at UTI's industry-leading curriculum, facilities, student and employer support services, we knew we had a solid partner to build something great with, supporting a growing need for technicians at our dealerships across the country." "Through manufacturer partnerships, rigorous curriculum and ongoing investments in classroom tools and technology, we are proud to be industry's choice in meeting the entry-level technician demands of our customers," said Kim McWaters, chairman and chief executive officer at UTI. "We are excited to offer the GM Technician Career Training program to our students, which will provide GM dealers even greater access to qualified entry-level technicians who have manufacturer-specific credits toward certification and are workplace-ready when they graduate." McWaters also noted that the need for qualified, trained technicians, in each of the industries UTI serves, will continue to grow and be a critical area of focus for industry customers. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor reports there will be approximately 1.4 million jobs in these industries in the United States by the year 2020. At GM specifically, that translates to an estimated potential 2,500 automotive service technician jobs per year. GM's Technician Career Training is expected to provide a steady flow of well-trained, ready-to-work technicians to GM dealers and affiliates. Students enrolled in the GM Technician Career Training will receive hands-on and online training to diagnose, repair and maintain the most technologically advanced Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.