An area business has made a donation to the Angelina College Diesel Technology program, a gift that will, according to AC’s Technology and Workforce Division director Dr. Gary Friery, “bring us into the 21st century.”
Mustang Cat of Lufkin recently gifted the Diesel Tech program with six new, state-of-the art diesel engines as part of a partnership with Angelina College. The electronically and computer-controlled versions are a big upgrade to the models currently in place.
“This is the current technology used in today’s work force,” Friery said. “These are Tier 4 engines, the only ones the college has. It’s a 3.3 category diesel engine, and it’s used mostly in skidsteers. This is going to allow us to teach modern-day technology – the same technology our students will be using when they move out into the work force.”
Ed Glover, Product Support/Branch Manager with Mustang Cat, works with Diesel Tech instructor Gary White in developing strategies beneficial to both organizations. He said the donation will assist future employees looking for an immediate impact in the job market.
“There are six of these engines we’re donating, and this is just one of them,” Glover said. “The engines certainly benefit the college and its students, but they also help benefit the local industry. When these students graduate, they’ll have a place to go to work, and we’ll end up getting good employees. I have three or four employees right now who came from this program.”
“I work on the Diesel Advisory Board with Gary White here at the college, and this is just a need we’ve seen. They’re going to expand the program, and they need more engines to do it for the guys to work on. We had the opportunity to supply those engines, and we’re happy to do it.”
AC president Michael Simon noted the gift is another example of the importance of the community and the college working together.
“I want to emphasize how great a partnership it is,” Simon said. “The college is committed to being relevant to the regional needs of the community, and working with business partners and with the advisory committee and through this sort of donation helps us ensure our students are getting the best training possible in order to enter the work force.”
White said the new engine additions will allow his program to keep pace with industry needs without creating an overhaul of the existing curriculum.
“About 12 years ago, everything with this technology went computerized,” White said. “These new engines are a big step toward helping our students leave here prepared to be better employees from the start.
“We won’t really need many changes to the curriculum,” White added. “We’ll just be able to have more hands-on time with the actual engines instead of using the trainers. They’ll be able to work on the real thing now, and we know it’s going to have them ready to work in this field.”