Students will have a chance to get their careers firing on all cylinders with Craven Community College’s (Craven CC) new Diesel Technology program. The first class will begin Jan. 11 at the Volt Center’s newly renovated 7,000-square-foot building that previously served as the City of New Bern garage.
“One of the great things about Craven CC is that they are always looking for opportunities to provide training programs that lead to great career opportunities,” said Eddie Foster, Volt Center executive director. “They partnered with the City of New Bern and have transformed the city garage from an ugly duckling into a swan.”
The program was designed to create a short-term opportunity for people to earn certifications in high-demand jobs. It will be delivered in two parts: Diesel Engines and Diesel Systems, each of which will be 360 hours and can be completed in one year. Training will be provided through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience.
Diesel Engines (Part One) will cover topics including Shop Safety, Introduction to Diesel Engines, Principles of Diesel Engines, Engine Evaluations and Disassembly, Pistons, Rings and Connecting Rods, Cylinder Heads and Components. It will run from Jan. 11 to June 22 with two options to accommodate busy schedules. Students can select the morning class, which is held Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to noon, or the evening class held Mondays through Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m.
Diesel Systems (Part Two) will include topics such as Introduction to Heavy Duty Trucks, Maintenance Programs, Fundamentals of Electricity and Computers, Cranking Systems, Hydraulics, Clutches, Transmissions, Axels and Braking Systems. It will run from July 6 to Dec. 15 with both morning and evening options.
“We are also building a Diesel Power Generators program, which will be for large diesel generators like ones utilized at the college and the hospital, and a Marine Diesel program for the boating industry,” said Foster.
Certification for the Diesel Technology program is provided by Get Ahead Freightliner Service Training Academy of Daimler Trucks North America and will be awarded to students as they complete required training and performance evaluations. Local industry leaders have formed an oversight committee to ensure students enrolled in the program learn the skills that are necessary to pursue a career as a diesel technician. The college has also joined forces with Volvo and Caterpillar, two of the world’s leading manufacturers of diesel-powered heavy equipment, who have generously contributed resources to the program.
“We have developed great partnerships with Volvo and Caterpillar, who have and continue to provide us with diesel engines and other systems to provide state-of-the-art training,” said Foster. “The demand for individuals to work on diesel trucks, heavy equipment, generators and marine diesel is high and only going to grow. This growth provides great opportunities for individuals to start a great career in as little as one year.”
Job opportunities for qualified diesel technicians is expected to grow nationally by 12% though the year 2024, with more than 142,000 job openings expected for diesel mechanics between now and 2024. Salaries for diesel mechanics range from $41,640 to $63,775 based on experience and training. Through the college’s partnerships with NCWorks and other local businesses, graduates of the program will be considered for career opportunities in the diesel technology field.
“Local companies like Trader Construction, who is one of the largest contractors in the eastern part of the U.S. in utilities installation, and Coastal Diesel, who does repair on diesel engines and systems, are always looking for quality diesel mechanics,” said Foster. “Volvo and Caterpillar are always on the lookout for quality employees as well. And what is really nice is that we have a great working relationship with all of them, so connecting the dots for career opportunities for those who complete the program will be realized.”
Scholarships are available to help cover the cost of registration and some textbooks. For more information, contact Foster at 252-638-3919 or email@example.com. To register, contact Antoinette Williams at 252-633-0857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was originally published in the New Bern Sun Journal on December 9, 2020.