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Greenville Business Magazine

Greenville Tech’s Diesel Equipment Technology Program Receives Appalachian Regional Commission Grant

Jun 26, 2019 10:47AM

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded a $218,800 grant for the Diesel Equipment Technology program at Greenville Technical College. The funds will allow the college to take steps to earn national accreditation from the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Education Foundation. The award will be used to bring all aspects of the program including tooling, engines, and computers into accreditation compliance, ensuring that students are trained to the highest quality standards in the diesel industry.

The project, driven by diesel industry employers, addresses a critical shortage of diesel engine specialists to serve the region’s growing transportation, distribution, and logistics economic cluster. Diesel-powered trucks transport the majority of freight through the region. Currently, there are approximately 1,500 diesel equipment technician job openings in the Greenville area that are unfilled, indicating strong growth and opportunity in the field. The current diesel and engine specialist workforce is aging, and there is an insufficient pipeline of younger individuals entering the field, spurring the need for aggressive action.

The diesel field continues to evolve as clean diesel and autonomous vehicle technologies impact skills sets required to become workforce ready. The grant will allow the college to upgrade equipment and tooling, giving students the skills needed to meet current and future industry needs.

ASE accreditation provides clear, employer-endorsed standards for problem solving, using information from diverse sources, and professionalism. Graduates of the Diesel Equipment Technology program will be prepared to take the ASE Master Truck Service Technician certification exam, a credential employers value for its proof of a detailed knowledge base and specialized skill set.

“We offer the Upstate’s only Diesel Equipment Technology program,” said Dr. Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College. “With ASE accreditation, the college can enroll and graduate more students with industry-recognized certifications, giving employers access to a well-prepared workforce and members of the community a clear path to a strong career. “

ARC funds will be matched by local sources including donations and additional grants, bringing total funding to $437,600.