diesel students industry utah pathway tech
Utah Diesel Tech Pathways bring education & industry togetherThe Utah Diesel Tech Pathways (UDTP) was formed in 2017 by the Governor’sOffice of Economic Development (GOED) to create a partnership with Salt LakeCommunity College, Jordan and Canyons School Districts and local industrypartners. The pathway was formed to expand and cultivate the talent pipelinefor the diesel tech industry — an industry in high demand and vital toeconomic growth and development in Utah.Salt Lake County piloted the program, creating a pathway for secondarystudents to take two diesel courses at the local technology center. Thecourses offered concurrent enrollment credit at Salt Lake Community College.Students could then continue their pathway with that college to earn anassociate degree. Secondary and postsecondary students, alike, participated injob shadows and internships to gain further knowledge of the field.Because things were so successful in Salt Lake County, the Governor expandedUDTP into Utah County for 2018–19. (The program has since grown to include 12school districts, seven higher education partners and more than 100 industrypartners.) Grant funding from GOED helped Utah County create, upgrade andmarket the diesel tech pathway. Now, two years later, two new diesel shops arebeing built in Utah County — increasing its capacity to support pathwaycompleters. Students in many counties have two options: 1. They can go to the technical college, which usually offers free or low-cost tuition. 2. Or, they can start on the pathway through concurrent enrollmentMany regions in Utah now offer both options as we have almost half the stateinvolved in the pathway.### Support for a diesel tech career pathwayUtah has seen very steady growth in expansion to different regions in thestate. We started with just one region four years ago. And each year has addedanother state CTE region to the map — up to five. Within 12 participatingschool districts, there are more than 30 individual schools.#### Consider how one Murray, Utah, company — Geneva Rock — best serves theiremployees to support and maintain a qualified workforce.Twice a year, Geneva Rock awards a $2,000 scholarship for students currentlyenrolled in an accredited university, college, trade or vocational school inthe pursuit of a construction-related career.Geneva Rock offers benefits — including paid time off, dental, vision, healthand pension. Entry-level employees at Geneva Rock — shop oiler/oiler intern —earn $22.82 per hour to start and increase to $26.85 per hour after anintroductory period.As they grow in skill and experience the salary increases to reflect thatgrowth. The highest paying diesel mechanic — the journeyman/field mechanic —earns $29.44 per hour. Other opportunities for growth include into roles suchas assistant shop supervisor, shop foreman and area equipment superintendent.### Valued industry partners play pivotal role.Industry support has been key in the development of Utah Diesel Tech Pathwaysprogram. When UDTP first began, six companies came together with educationstakeholders to combat the shortage of diesel technicians in Utah. Thesecompanies were: * Cummins Rocky Mountain * Jackson Group Peterbilt * Kenworth Sales Company * Komatsu Equipment Corporation * Mountain West Truck Center Volvo Mack * Wheeler CatValued industry partners provided school districts with the newest technologyfor students to learn and train on. They provided job shadows, internships,and the opportunity to interview for employment. They visited shops to talk tostudents, teachers and work-based learning coordinators — leading tours,creating regional advisory boards.Working under the UDTP, under one singular logo, diesel tech companiesshowcase an understand of a common need. They all need technicians, and theymust work together.Stakeholders from industry and education work together to make a fluid pathwaywith stackable credentials. Students become lifelong learners, to grow withthe industry and into the jobs of tomorrow.UDTP most recently expanded into southern Utah, in December 2019, and gainednew industry partners in Walmart, Snap-on and Napa Auto Parts among others.These big-name companies are constantly looking for technicians to keep theirfleet of trucks and machinery up and running. Without those technicians, therewould be more accidents with semi-trucks; our delivered goods would be late.Construction and mining may come to a halt. Diesel technicians help keep oureconomy going. It is critical that students and their families become aware ofthe possibilities available to them in CTE.### Schools educate tomorrow’s workforce.Educators in Utah created brand new concurrent enrollment courses to fit theindustry need in their area; they participated in advisory boards and eventsto create and promote the pathway. Currently, students across the state cancomplete two concurrent enrollment courses in Basic Diesel Theory and EnginePerformance. Both courses incorporate safety components. Credit for concurrentenrollment courses stack into a one-year certificate or a two-year associatedegree.Students can also choose to begin the UDTP at their local technical college.From there they can choose to take on employment or continue theirpostsecondary education at a local university where an articulation agreementhas been signed.Each institution has worked with their local partner to create theseagreements, an effort that is now expanding into other regions. This willcreate more opportunities for students who may want to move to another part ofthe state or are transferred by their company but want to continue theireducation. Secondary and postsecondary schools have all come to the table tocreate a seamless pathway — to meet the needs of students and the localeconomy.### Students experience life-changing postsecondary transitions.For students, UDTP presents a chance to explore education outside thetraditional four-year degree pathway. They can start in a paid or unpaidinternship at 16. They can start their training while they are still in highschool. Note: The program also extends to adults looking for more training, orfor a shift in their career:“Clinton resident Andrew Huddleston, 35, joined the diesel pathways programafter trying numerous other career options. He said finding the diesel programwas a life-changing discovery.“I’m more of a hands-on person,” he said. “I like to get in and get my handsdirty.“(Diesel trucking) is the lifeblood of this country,” he said. “I love doingtechnician work. The program gives me a leg up on everyone else.” (Lee, 2019)Many of Utah’s technical colleges offered diesel technology programs, but thepathway really opened the door to industry. UDTP gives students theopportunity to interact with multiple companies in their area. They are ableto make informed decisions about training for future careers.Furthermore, many companies have begun offering scholarship opportunities forstudents of all ages to help them gain the proper tools, training andexperience. These scholarships are vital to ensure diversity of access forstudents of all socioeconomic backgrounds.### ConclusionThe Utah Diesel Tech Pathway creates unique opportunities for businesses toincrease their talent pipeline and provide rewarding careers for students.Education and industry stakeholders came together to meet a common goal ofrendering successful postsecondary transitions for students, no matter wherethey go for training. And they are now beginning to reap the benefits — with agrowing pipeline of potential employees from across the state of Utah.Torrie Costantino is the CTE pathways coordinator at Utah Valley University.Costantino was a 2019–2020 fellow of the Postsecondary Leadership SuccessProgram at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation. She is intensely passionateabout CTE and improving the world of education for all students. Email her.