“There is no diesel training facility on the peninsula,” Bobbi Barends, vice president of Del Tech, said.
But, after the groundbreaking ceremony in August, there soon will be.
“This program, this new facility is going to allow us to double the number of our automotive techs, general automotive techs that are graduating, and then add 15 diesel mechanics that are graduating every year,” Barends said.
And it’s those 15 spots for Diesel techs, jobs that are in high demand that makes the new Automotive Center of Excellence so historic.
“Dealerships, folks who are the technicians who keep our cars, trucks and vans running, big trucks, diesel mechanics, there is a great need for those kind of folks,” Senator Tom Carper said.
And these aren’t small jobs we’re talking about; these are jobs that bring big bucks into the region.
“They’re jobs that make 50, 60, 70, 80, $90,000 a year,” Senator Carper said.
And while the new center will bring jobs, it’s also bringing security to the individual students who will train and learn in the center.
“They’re able to come here and get a very affordable education in a high-demand industry and work field, and then be able to stay here and raise a family, buy a home, with very little debt,” Barends said.
So, as current Del Tech students watched the ground break on the building that future students will become diesel techs in, Senator Carper left them with a simple message:
“Aim high, work hard, embrace the golden rule and don’t quit,” he said.
The doors to the center open in November 2020 and students will likely start the following semester in January 2021.