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NASCAR Technical Institute students and staff participate in Romney event

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TWC News: NASCAR Technical Institute students and staff participate in Romney event
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MOORESVILLE, N.C.--As a part of his tour through four battleground states, including North Carolina, Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin representative Paul Ryan stopped at the NASCAR Technical Institute Sunday morning.

The institute just celebrated it's 10 year anniversary in July, and students and staff participated in Sunday's event.

After getting his undergraduate degree in business management, Christopher Riffle is now a student at the NASCAR Technical Institute.

"Basically how to service cars either from service engine lights being on or customer complaints with their vehicle,” said Riffle.

Riffle hopes to become a BMW master technician, as well as open his own shop on the side. He says the institute was the best choice.

"When you look at the rest of the schools, none of the rest of them have any manufacturer training that's sponsored by the manufacturers. This school is one of the only ones that allows you to do that and you get the training from the manufacturer on how to work on their stuff,” said Riffle.

Romney and Ryan's visit to the institute comes the day an Obama administration regulation would have gone into effect, that would have prevented career training programs, mainly at for-profit colleges, from leaving students with a lot of debt, and few employment options.

"They're generally speaking, assigning some criticism to the industry at large. In the most recent report, the UTI campuses were called out favorably for completion and graduate employment of our students, and we're really proud of that,” said Jennifer Bergeron, campus president of the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville.

Four out of five of their graduates are in the automotive or motorsports industry, with a median salary of $35,000.

"Our completion rates are more favorable than the national average. So again, we're really proud of the support services teams we have in place for our students when they get here to help them find local employment and academically be successful when they're with us,” said Bergeron.

As they celebrate their 10th anniversary, they say it's a fitting venue for Romney's focus on creating a strong middle class.

UTI, or Universal Technical Institute, provides post-secondary education in the automotive and motorsports fields. The NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville is one of UTI's campus-based schools.

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