I’m sure there’s something in the mind of someone like me that’s more intriguing than others about how things work. The Diesel Equipment Industry and the Lincolnland Community When asked to write about career opportunities in his college’s new diesel technology program, Diesel was drawn to a career as a service technician and eventually to his instructor career. I took some time to think about why I was fired. But as I followed memory lane, I realized there was more to it than just curiosity.
First and foremost, I have been fortunate to have grown up around family and friends who work in a variety of industries. From an early age, I was exposed to mechanics in my own car with my father. I also had other relatives and neighbors who worked as auto technicians. I spent a lot of time holding the light. And not in Dad’s eyes! Many of you reading this have experienced a light lecture from your father.
Second, high school gave me a variety of tech classes to choose from. The availability of these classes gave me the opportunity to explore all the trades and choose the ones that fit my interests and abilities.
Finally, pursuing a career as a diesel engineer was fine and encouraged. My parents made it clear they were proud of me and fully supported my decision.
Looking back, I realize that not everyone is as lucky as I am. Students today face challenges I never had to think about. Modern technology makes it virtually impossible to operate your own vehicle or equipment. They aren’t as exposed to working on family cars as I am.
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Technical classes in schools are expensive to run and difficult to staff. Over the last two decades, the number and variety of services has also declined. The good news is that the trend is starting to reverse, but we still have a long way to go to get back to where we were 30 years ago.
Most importantly, social pressures can deter students interested in career and technical education classes from pursuing careers. Pressure on parents to encourage their children to pursue her traditional four-year degree discourages technical education altogether.
As Director of the Diesel Technology Program, which is launching at LLCC this fall, I am on a mission to overcome these obstacles and promote the excellent career opportunities offered through the program and industry. These are highly technical, well-paid and challenging jobs that are in high demand both locally and nationally. Training for careers in the agriculture, construction, and trucking industries is a great alternative to his traditional four-year college degree for many students. These careers are integral to our way of life and rewarding for those who pursue them.The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that Diesel Technician employment will increase by 8 percent between 2020 and 2030, or an annual We expect an increase in 28,100 positions. Skill shortages rank among the top three employer concerns across the industry.
LLCC’s Workforce Career Center will host information sessions on LLCC’s Diesel Technology Program on February 22nd, March 22nd and April 5th from 1-2pm. Participants learn about career opportunities directly from local employers. We will explain the application process in detail and allow plenty of time to answer any questions.
If you or someone you know is interested in high paying, high demand diesel technology jobs, please visit www.llcc.edu/diesel-technologies for more information.
Jeff Gardner is the Director of the Diesel Technology Program at Lincoln Land Community College.