12-22-2020 – Grant would fund diesel mechanics program

Posted on: December 22nd, 2020 by admin


December 22, 2020



By Kara Fohner kfohner@newstopicnews.com

Dec 21, 2020 Updated 12 hrs ago


Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute is applying for a grant that would pay for the launch of a diesel mechanics program.


If the college receives the grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation’s Community-Based Grants Initiative, which supports economic growth projects in rural communities, the new program would deliver instruction on how to fix and maintain tractor trailers and similar machinery.


Randy Ledford, the vice president of instruction at the community college, said that the $1.1 million grant would help pay for renovations to the facility where the college maintains the trucks used in the truck-driver-training program, creating a dual-use space they could use for instruction.


The grant would also pay for a traveling lab. The college currently partners with colleges across the state to deliver the truck driving program, and it could do something similar with the diesel mechanics program, said Dr. Mark Poarch, the college president.


“We’ve gotten a pretty broad reach with our truck-driver-training program. The portable part that Randy is talking about would allow us to take some of the service-based diesel instruction, more short-term kind of instruction, to those off-campus locations where we’re also delivering truck driver training,” he said.


Poarch said the truck driving program offers the perfect training ground for an accompanying diesel mechanics program.


“Students will have lots of work-based learning opportunities if we’re able to get this program started,” he said.

College officials hope to know by April if the grant is approved, but because the North Carolina Community Colleges system’s approval process for new programs is lengthy, the program probably would not begin until at least 2022.


Reporter Kara Fohner can be reached at 828-610-8721.

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