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Montana college works to meet the demand for diesel technicians

Diesel Training
Posted at 10:06 AM, Nov 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-15 12:23:13-05

HAVRE — Trade degree programs enrollment has been on a decline, but one Montana school is hoping to change that fact.

Montana State University-Northern in Havre is working to produce enough graduates of its diesel programs to meet the nationwide demand.

“In this industry it's especially bad, the number of people that are coming to Northern every year is increasing, all of them looking for skilled technicians, of course that is what our specialty is,” MSU-Northern chancellor Greg Kegel said.

The trade is called diesel technician, and right now companies are in high need of them – including Modern Machinery of Missoula -- understand the demand.

“Technicians are really the lifeblood of our business and you know with an aging work force, and maybe fewer young men and women being interested in this kind of a job, we have had to work hard to work with the program to make the program better and to do our best to recruit high school students into the program, because without technicians our business is dead in the water, noted Modern Machinery’s Bill Crandall.

Senior Grant Haines had to make some decisions for his future.

“Money was kind of a deciding factor, and I do like working on cars, but I have my own cars that I work on…for fun. But in the automotive industry there is not that much money to be had,” he explained. Broad Spectrum Diesel -- there was more money and we get to work on some pretty cool stuff.

Click here to learn more about the diesel program at MSU-Northern.