Alliance Formed Between College, Mack Trucks Inc.

Published 02.05.1997

Diesel Truck, Heavy Equipment & Power Generation
School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies News

Mack Trucks Inc. and Pennsylvania College of Technology have formed an alliance to offer an associate degree in diesel technology, with an emphasis on Mack components. The degree program is the only one of its kind in the nation involving an integrated heavy-duty truck manufacturer and an accredited college. It is slated to begin in Fall 1997.

"Given the severe shortage of qualified technicians, Mack believes businesses associated with the trucking industry have to step up and assist local schools in the development of service personnel," says Russ Raine, Mack's vice president of customer product support. "If the trend isn't reversed, owner-operated vehicles and fleet trucks alike may face significant downtime due to repair and maintenance delays. Today, there is an estimated one technician for every30 trucks on the road; a tolerable ratio is one technician for every 20 trucks," Raine adds.

The association between Penn College and Mack is designed to provide students with "real world" experience to prepare them for careers as diesel technicians. "The diesel program at Penn College benefits by having access to the latest generation trucks, equipment, and training resources that only a manufacturer such as Mack has available," commented Colin W. Williamson, dean of the College's School of Transportation Technology .

"Students will benefit from the exposure to current diesel and vehicle technology, a paid work and learning experience at a Mack dealership, and assistance with their educational expenses. Only through partnerships with progressive manufacturers can colleges hope to offer the affordable training needed to maintain tomorrow's sophisticated truck fleets," Williamson adds.

Mack supplies Penn College with the latest engine, transmission and rear-axle components, as well as the latest electronic technology with V-MAC, Mack's vehicle management and control system. They also train the Penn College instructors on Mack components and make available all the training programs and materials used by Mack's service training schools.

Graduates of the program will receive certification in five areas of Mack specialization: engine, transmission, V-MAC, carrier and warranty.

"Almost every day we hear from dealers who are unable to fill open positions in their service departments with qualified people. By hiring graduates from this program, dealers have the added advantage of the students being trained and certified on Mack components," says Raine.

According to Williamson, "Mack dealers will also participate with Penn College in the screening and selection process for both students and entry-level technicians, thereby ensuring the program's high standards."

Dealers can sponsor students who are accepted to the program, or Penn College can contact the Mack dealer when they have a student seeking sponsorship. The dealer's contribution to the student includes:

  • Forgiveness loans of $500 per semester; a total of $2,000 for the two years paid directly to Penn College

  • A summer internship for the student between the first and second years of the program

  • Dealer-paid ASE test-registration fees

  • Employment upon graduation

In order to qualify for dealer sponsorship, the student must:

  • Meet Penn College 's entrance requirements

  • Maintain good academic standing each semester

  • Commit to a minimum of one year employment at the dealership after graduation

Upon graduation, Mack will award each student a $1,500 Snap-On gift certificate. The company will also annually recognize on a plaque at the school the student achieving the highest grade-point average.

Pennsylvania 's premier technical college, Penn College is an affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University. The College's main campus in Williamsport is equipped with many advanced technology laboratories.

The diesel technology programming is located at the College's Schneebeli Earth Science Center, south of Williamsport, near Allenwood; the center also houses natural resources majors, such as forest technology and landscape/nursery technology.

Other sites include the Lumley Aviation Center at the Williamsport-Lycoming County Airport in Montoursville and the North Campus in Wellsboro. At all sites, the approximately 4,700 full- and part-time Penn College students gain hands-on experiences in pursuit of a wide range of bachelor and associate degrees and certificates. This education adds up to a graduate-placement rate of over 90 percent.

Dedicated to quality, reliability and total customer satisfaction, Mack Trucks Inc. has provided innovative, forward-thinking products and services to its customers worldwide for more than 95 years. Mack is one of North America 's largest producers of heavy-duty trucks, in addition to major product components. The company also markets a line of medium-duty diesel trucks throughout North America. Mack vehicles are sold and serviced in more than 65 countries worldwide.