The number of students enrolled in Utah College of Applied Technology during the 2007-2008 school year increased nearly 12 percent.
On Nov. 3, UCAT released the applied technology college's annual report.
Summarizing UCAT's activities, enrollment and achievements, the report shows positive growth in student head count and training hours.
According to the report, membership hours or the amount of time students are enrolled in UCAT's eight regional applied technology college campuses increased 4.3 percent, representing the highest growth level posted in the program's seven-year history.
The applied technology college campuses include Bridgerland, Davis, Dixie, Mountainland, Ogden-Weber, Salt Lake-Tooele, Southwest and Uintah Basin.
The head count also expanded by 11.9 percent for custom fit students enrolled in regular state-funded programs. Counting the custom fit numbers, UCAT programs served approximately 60,000 students in 2007-2008.
Custom fit provides training for companies operating across the state through the regional UCAT campuses and affiliate educational institutions, including the College of Eastern Utah.
In addition to CEU, the affiliate institutions providing custom fit regionally under UCAT oversight include Snow and Salt Lake Community College.
"What's remarkable is that this level of enrollment occurred in a year of high employment, when workforce shortages often pressure people to forgo training and go right to work," said UCAT president Richard White. "Looking to the future, approximately 65 percent of Utah's population will not earn a bachelor's degree."
"UCAT plays a critical role in helping citizens prepare for middle-skill jobs desperately needed by Utah's employers," added White.
Growth is brisk at some campuses.
Student membership hours at UCAT's Mountainland Applied Technology College campus increased nearly 15 percent compared to the previous year.
"We are witnessing dramatic growth in our region due to the increased awareness and accessibility of our workforce training programs," said campus president Clay Christensen.
The Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College launched a machinist marketing campaign driven and funded by employers, according to campus president Collette Mercier.
Machinist enrollment increased 42 percent, "one of several positive factors in our growth over the past year, including 41 percent higher enrollment in apprenticeship programs and more employers encouraging workers to finish their programs at the tech college," noted Mercier.
The members of the UCAT Board of Trustees are pleased with the data compiled in the annual report.
"I'm thrilled with the tremendous work our campuses are doing to meet the workforce needs of employers across the state. UCAT is a great investment that will continue to pay dividends," commented board chair Thomas Bingham.
Created by the Utah Legislature in 2001, UCAT specializes in open-entry, open-exit scheduling, competency-based training and directly supporting the needs of the state's employers and workers.