SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Every day millions of trucks are moving America, but bringing those shipments and deliveries to a screeching halt is a lack of skilled technicians trained to fix these heavy pieces of machinery.
Diesel Tech Academy member, Joshua Cottrell says, “The job placement rate for diesel mechanics and it’s something like 75%. It’s huge.”
Diesel Tech Trainer, Dennis Wallace says, “Techs today are in higher demand because there are more trucks on the road and we’ve got a workforce that’s retiring out, so we started a training program to fill the need.”
The Midwest Diesel Tech Academy is a 9-month accelerated program and paid internship.
Cottrell says, “Everything from the front of the truck to the back of the truck.”
As opposed to the 2 to 4 years many techs spend paying for a college degree.
“That means I can start working sooner rather than being in school for so long,” says Cottrell.
The one of a kind program is getting some state assistance in the form of a $50,000 Future Ready Iowa grant.
Wallace says the funding will help sustain the new program as well as pay for new training aids and tools.
Along with the academy, Wallace and other industry professionals are working to recruit more young people to the field. Explaining labor jobs are about more than just getting your hands dirty.
“The old adage of a mechanic is a grease monkey is no longer that way Wallace,” says Wallace.
“It was a small class this year, I hope that theirs a bigger class next year because I think a lot of people can benefit from the opportunity,” says Cottrell.