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Chemeketa Opens Doors to Brand New Diesel Mechanic Program

DateTuesday, January 12, 2021, 4:07

AuthorChemeketa Public Affairs

Marion County Commissioners cut the ribbon on new state-of-the-art facility

Marion County Commissioners and Chemeketa officials cut the ribbon at the new Diesel training center

Marion County Commissioners Kevin Cameron, Colm Willis, and Danielle Bethell helped usher in a new era of workforce development and training alongside Chemeketa Community College President, Jessica Howard, Executive Deans, Holly Nelson and Marshall Roache, and Chemeketa Board of Education members Jackie Franke and Ed Dodson during a special ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony at Chemeketa’s new Diesel Technology Training Center.  

Marion County, supported by the commissioners’ work on this project, contributed $100,000 toward equipment and infrastructure.  The governor’s Regional Solutions program committed to providing an additional $200,000.  

The first cohort of students in the Diesel Technology Program started hands-on classes last Monday and are enjoying working on new and used equipment donated by local industry and employers who are seeking a highly trained workforce in this area.  There is a great demand for skilled diesel technicians, which has helped fuel the excitement for this program, which has been in development for five years.

Executive Dean Holly Nelson stated, “The largest hurdle in making this project a reality was finding a suitable location and building.  But we have a beautiful location now that is situated next to our Brooks Center.  I couldn’t be more excited for the college, the community, and our students.”

The Diesel Technology Training Center will train technicians that will be able to work in multiple sectors of Industry, and will help in providing economic vitality to the counties Chemeketa serves.  The program is an industry specific, two-year associate degree program with required internship hours. It is designed to prepare individuals to become qualified diesel service technicians. Students learn how to work on many types of diesel equipment including agricultural, construction, forestry, semi-truck, and earth moving equipment. The Diesel Technology Program combines technical and academic education with real world experience through internships that are within the program. Students learn about engine fundamentals, machine hydraulics, fuel systems, electrical systems, transmissions, torque converters, undercarriage, final drives and more. During the internships, students have the opportunity to experience a future career firsthand through on-the-job training focused area of their choice. Upon completion of the program students will earn a Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree.   

Chemeketa anticipates the program will be very popular and is looking to add additional full-time faculty in the near future.

For more information about Chemeketa’s Diesel Technology Program, visit:

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