The eight regional campuses of the Utah College of Applied Technology (UCAT) provide nearly 300 programs throughout the state. The demand for technically-skilled workers in the state is high and in many cases UCAT cannot train people fast enough. "Employers are hungry for skilled workers," said UCAT President Rob Brems. "One problem we face is students being hired before they complete their programs."
Some of the high demand programs across the state are Machining, Manufacturing, Composites Training, and Industrial Automation. Most of the UCAT campuses offer training in these areas and are expanding these programs as funding will allow. Employers are leading a charge for more skilled workers in these areas and have expressed concern that not enough focus is being put on technical education in the state.
Todd Bingham, president of the Utah Manufacturers Association, told the Education Interim Committee that technical and manufacturing jobs suffer from an image issue, where those careers are viewed as inferior to others that require a bachelor's degree or higher. But the demand for those jobs is growing, Bingham said, and the potential earnings are high, even for entry-level workers. "People see manufacturing as the three Ds: dark, dangerous and dirty," he said. "Manufacturing is anything but that. This is not your grandfather's industry."
The Legislature appropriated $6.5 million ($3.0 million - campus capacity; $3.0 million - campus equity; and $0.5 million - Custom Fit) to UCAT during the 2014 General Session to help address high demand programs.
|Campus Capacity||Campus Equity||Custom Fit||Total|
|Uintah Basin ATC||$331,300||$49,600||-||$380,900|
In addition to the table above, UCAT Admin received $200,000 one-time for a marketing and messaging fund; UCAT has committed to focus on helping people rethink education to meet the growing demand.