CCC&TI's New Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Program

CCC&TI's New Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Program

Photo Caption: Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Director Matt Smith discusses engine components in the diesel garage on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson that will be used as a lab space for students.

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute will host a series of informational meetings in the coming weeks to introduce the community and prospective students to its newest program: Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology. Attending one of the meetings is a required step for students planning to enroll in the program.

Launching in Fall 2022, the 1-year program will prepare students for high-paying, in-demand careers as diesel and heavy equipment technicians. The classes and labs will be offered on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson, as well as on a regional basis in the future through a mobile program that will travel throughout the area.

“This will be the only diesel program serving Caldwell, Watauga, Burke, Catawba, McDowell and Alexander counties,” CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch said. “The program will be unique in North Carolina in terms of delivery with a combination of traditional classroom delivery and the mobile training. It will allow us to train students where they are and provide a much-needed talent pipeline for the region.”

The program information meetings will be in Room F-115 on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson on the following dates:

  • Monday, Feb. 28, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 2, 7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, March 14, 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 16, 6:30 p.m.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected employment growth for diesel mechanics and engine specialists in North Carolina is 6 percent. The average income for diesel mechanics and engine specialists in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton area is $47,530.

The program will prepare individuals for employment as entry-level transportation service technicians. Course work includes transportation systems theory, diesel engine repair and performance, exhaust after treatment, transmissions and drive trains, electrical and electronic systems, steering and suspension, braking systems, climate control, safety, sustainable transportation, and environmental regulations. 

Students will learn to inspect, diagnose, repair, service, and maintain medium and heavy-duty truck engines and systems found in locomotives, buses, ships, construction equipment, electricity generators, and trucks over one-ton classification. Students will have the opportunity to take tests for and, upon passing, receive, their ASE Entry-Level Technician certification by the completion of the program.

CCC&TI’s Diesel and Heavy Equipment program has partnered with Volvo Trucks and Vanguard Truck Centers to meet the expected demand for technicians in these high-tech and hands-on careers.

Funding for the program came from the Golden LEAF Foundation’s Community Based Grants Initiative. In 2021, CCC&TI was awarded nearly $1.1 million to develop and implement the program to serve a 9-county region in Western North Carolina.  

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