Dodge City Community College and Daimler Trucks North America reached an agreement with its diesel technology program recently.

According to DCCC, the "Get Ahead Program" partnership is a nationwide cooperative between DTNA, participating diesel schools and DTNA service network locations that offer diesel schools access to Internet-based training for free.

Truck Center Companies, one of the largest full-service Freightliner dealerships in the nation with a location in Dodge City, is the DTNA service network location in the DCCC partnership.

According to DCCC professor of diesel technology Colby Kline, the idea for starting the "Get Ahead" partnership originated from a diesel technology advisory board meeting last spring.

"The board helps us in so many ways," Kline said in a news release. "Besides being the businesses who hire our students, they also help us get equipment at reduced rates."

The diesel technology advisory board provides feedback and information on curriculums to be able to hire students from DCCC.

"In a nutshell, students can get access to all the online training that’s available to a professional technician on our Freightliner and Daimler products, while they’re still in college," said TCC recruiting director Jim Walsh in a news release. "The benefit for a company like ours is we invest thousands and thousands of dollars in training people after they graduate, and it just accelerates our training curve."

According to Walsh, for each new technician hired TCC spends $50,000 in training.

Jeff Cole, DCCC professor of diesel technology and workforce development chair, added that the "Get Ahead" program in terms of training will put students a step ahead when they start their careers.

"The strength of this program is students will get job training here at DCCC, which is at the same standard as what the industry provides," Cole said in a news release. "The training through this program also will be more up to date than a textbook-based curriculum, because information becomes obsolete so quickly these days due to changes in technology.

"I’m excited about the program. I think it will help open doors for other partnerships, because a lot of companies are begging for good diesel technicians."

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