Three years of working with Freightliner of St. Cloud in the Get Ahead program has paid off for the Medium/Heavy Truck program at SCTCC.
On Nov. 1, representatives from Freightliner and the college gathered to celebrate the addition of a 2014 Cascadia tractor unit to the program, which was the result of a top-twenty placement in the Get Ahead program.
“We've been participating in Get Ahead for three years and our performance in the program has really been great. This opportunity came up, and I knew we had to take advantage of it,” said MHT instructor, Matt Hoepner.
In 2015, Freightliner approached SCTCC to offer support for being a training site for Daimler’s Get Ahead Program. This program offers online training that allows students to earn a Systems certification, a necessity to perform warranty work on Daimler Trucks of North America. A graduate who gets a job at a DTNA shop requires this certification, so this additional certification is an advantage for SCTCC students. Freightliner is a Daimler product – more than 40% of trucks on the road today are Daimler products.
Every year, Get Ahead ranks the colleges that offer this program, and SCTCC was ranked 17th in the nation for 2018. This sparks eligibility to participate in the Trucks for Training Program, in which Daimler works with the college to find a used truck that costs less than $45,000. The cost was split three ways between SCTCC, Daimler, and Freightliner.
A majority of the trucks that the MHT students work on are around 20 years old, which do not have any emission systems installed.
“If you talk to any of the area shops they will tell you about half of all their repairs are dealing with emissions these days,” said Hoepner. The 2014 Cascadia truck is a great addition to the Emissions and Advanced Fuel System class, as well as the New Automatic/Automated Transmissions class.
Jon Pearson and Bill Ames from Freightliner joined faculty from the MHT program, Dean Mike Mendez, and President Annesa Cheek for the arrival of the new truck.
“We really appreciate our partnership with St. Cloud Technical & Community College,” said Pearson. “Our best employees come from right there,” he added, pointing to the MHT garage doors.