Beginning this fall semester, students interested in the Truck Technician Training program in OSU Institute of Technology’s School of Diesel & Heavy Equipment won’t have to find a sponsoring dealership or company before enrolling in the program.
The new non-sponsored student track will launch when fall classes begin on Sept. 6.
The program, which was originally sponsored solely by MHC Kenworth, changed to the Truck Technician Training program two years ago opening it up to student sponsorships from other trucking companies.
But finding sponsoring dealerships and companies is getting tougher, despite the growing need for technicians.
The sponsored student track has students alternating between spending eight weeks on the OSUIT campus in classes and workshop labs and then eight weeks gaining real-world experience and training at their sponsoring company.
With the non-sponsored student track, students will spent four full semesters on the OSUIT campus and then spend the last semester on internship with a truck dealership or company.
David Ingle, truck technician instructor, said student sponsorships are becoming less attractive to trucking companies precisely because of the great need for technicians.
Staffs at these companies are already stretched thin and asking employees to stop their work and take on the training and overseeing of interns every eight weeks is too much for them, Ingle said.
“We’re trying to fill the void, but the companies don’t want to do a sponsorship; they just want to hire someone after they’ve completed the training and graduated,” he said.
Terryl Lindsey, dean of the School of Diesel & Heavy Equipment, said he and Ingle have been working on this non-sponsored student track for about a year and a half.
“This will enable us to start a semester with 40 students instead of 20,” Lindsey said. The sponsored and non-sponsored students will both learn the same curriculum but will be in different classes on different schedules. “My challenge will be making sure I don’t double schedule a class.”
And if the non-sponsored student track is a success, it could mean some help for Ingle.
“If we can get this going well, I can possibly add one or two more instructors over time,” Lindsey said.
With a sponsorship, students are essentially guaranteed a job after graduation at their sponsoring company, but Ingle said he isn’t concerned about non-sponsored students finding work after they earn their degree.
“We’re not worried about them finding a job. There are so many companies that are ready to hire employees,” he said.
For more information about the Truck Technician Training program, contact David Ingle at email@example.com.