Accelerated Training Aims to Narrow Technician Gap

Diesel service program prepares students with limited experience for immediate employment in high-demand field

Genesee Community College’s BEST Center (Business and Employee Skills Training) and Pro-MECH Learning Systems have teamed to launch an accelerated training program that prepares individuals for careers as diesel service technicians and provides job-placement assistance.  The industry is facing a severe shortage of qualified workers with more positions opening up as many experienced workers retire. Employment of diesel service technicians and mechanics is projected to increase by 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data show that 67,000 technicians will be needed to replace retired workers and 75,000 new mechanics must be added to meet additional workforce demand by 2022.

The intensive, four-week, TechSpedite™ training program teaches students with limited skills or no experience in the heavy-duty maintenance field the skills they need to contribute to maintenance operations in the workplace. Key areas of focus include shop safety, power unit and trailer preventive maintenance inspections, foundation brake and wheel-end service, basic trailer repair and torching, suspension and alignment, fundamental electrical diagnostics and follow-up service. The program allocates a significant amount of time to hands-on, shop-based training to ensure the concepts students learn in the classroom can be executed on the shop floor. Students also gain basic soft-skills’ training needed to be productive technicians.

Program graduates immediately enter the workforce as entry-level technicians skilled in performing preventive maintenance inspections and diagnosing and repairing the most common service issues.

“We are finding a desire from students who want to minimize the cost and time commitment required with a traditional vocational college; and from employers eager to hire technicians with the basic skills to fill their demands,” said Chuck Barresi, CEO of Pro-MECH Learning Systems in Avon, NY.

“This course is taught in a real working shop over the course of a full working day to mirror their future environment,” Barresi said. “Hands-on training is conducted daily on live equipment and success is measured in terms of learning rather than time. Students progress by demonstrating the competency, knowledge and skills required to complete each task.”

GCC’s BEST Center will manage the recruitment and registration of students while Pro-MECH Learning Systems will deliver instruction at its Avon facility in Livingston County.

“I had multiple job offers before I graduated and would recommend this course to anyone,” said Forrest Buchan, who completed the TechSpedite program in May 2017. “Before, I had a job working concrete in the summers. Now, I have a full-time career as a diesel tech.”

“Preventative maintenance and associated repairs are the basis of my business,” said Ryan Johnson, director of operations for DeCarolis Truck Rental, Inc., “and we found TechSpedite graduates are prepared to enter the workforce and add value to the team from day one.”

“GCC is constantly looking for ways to develop people for well-paying, in-demand occupations,” said Reid Smalley, executive director of GCC’s BEST Center. “This area is all of that and we look forward to this relationship with Pro-MECH Learning Systems.”

The next course begins Monday, October 30, 2017. An information session about the program will be scheduled in October at Pro-MECH Learning Systems, 2979 Lakeville Road in Avon. For more information about the program contact GCC’s BEST Center at (585) 345-6868 or visit www.bestcenter.org. To attend the information session, contact Reid Smalley at 585-345-6868 or rjsmalley@genesee.edu

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