4-2-2021 – College gets money to train diesel mechanics

Posted on: April 5th, 2021 by admin


April 2, 2021



By Guy Lucas guylucas@newstopicnews.com

Apr 1, 2021


Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute will receive more than $1 million to develop a program to train mechanics to work on buses, trucks and other diesel equipment.


The Golden LEAF Foundation’s Board of Directors announced the $1.098 grant Thursday as part of a series of grants. It was one of the largest of 14 grants totaling $9.6 million in the Northwest Prosperity Zone, which covers Alexander, Ashe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, McDowell, Mitchell, Watauga and Wilkes counties.


The money will pay for tools, equipment, wrapped truck and trailer, trainers, and parts to develop a regional diesel and heavy equipment technology program that would be the only diesel program serving Caldwell, Watauga, Burke, Catawba and Alexander counties, the foundation said in a press release.


Randy Ledford, the vice president of instruction at the community college, said in December that the college plans to renovate the facility where the college maintains the trucks used in its truck-driver-training program, creating a dual-use space.


The program will provide training both on the CCC&TI main campus and through a mobile training unit. 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, college President Mark Poarch said in December.


College officials have said the program probably would not be ready to begin until at least 2022.


Employment for bus, truck and diesel technicians is expected to grow by 155 jobs a year in the area served, the foundation said.


Another job-training-related grant in the region will send $1.5 million to Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton to construct a 30,000-square-foot Construction Trades Solution Center. It will offer degree and certificate training programs in carpentry, masonry, electrical technologies, HVAC, plumbing and green construction principles. Catawba Valley Community College will collaborate to serve students from Alexander and Catawba counties.


The training programs would help meet a projected regional shortage of more than 3,700 skilled construction workers over the next five years.


The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports efforts to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural communities or those that once relied on growing tobacco.

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