Naming of two Penn College labs affirms longtime collaboration
Photos by Larry D. Kauffman, digital publishing specialist/photographer
The naming of two instructional labs at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center heightens the visibility of a corporate partner’s enduring behind-the-scenes investment in the next generation of industry leaders.
During a March 15 event at the Allenwood-area campus, the college officially designated the Motor Truck Thermo King Refrigeration Lab and the Kenworth of Pennsylvania Advanced Electrical Diagnostics Lab. Motor Truck Equipment Co. is the parent of Kenworth of Pennsylvania and Motor Truck Thermo King; the companies are represented in the Visionary Society ($100,000-$499,999) on the college’s the college’s Donor Wall.
“One of our Penn College core values is to provide ‘coursework, experiences and skill sets that are intentionally designed to mutually benefit and maximize opportunities for students and their employers,’” said Justin W. Beishline, assistant dean of diesel technology and natural resources. “This partnership meets that core value perfectly.”
He noted Kenworth of Pennsylvania’s service to the Diesel Technology Advisory Committee, support in Automotive Service Excellence accreditation, provision of truck and refrigeration units, and faculty/student access to Original Equipment Manufacturer resources.
“They understand the value of a diesel technology education and work hard to create awareness of the opportunities and growth they can give you,” Beishline told the throng of assembled students. “They do this by investing their time into recruitment fairs, competitions, advisory committees, etc., so that you know about the opportunities they can offer.
“Believe me, I was in their industry and there is not time to do these things, but they find a way to do it – squeezing 70-hour workweeks into 40 hours – and they excel at it. They put in all this work, not knowing if you will come work for them, but overall, they care about the success of the program and are an advocate for this profession.”
Celebrating a mutually beneficial partnership in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Kenworth of Pennsylvania Advanced Electrical Diagnostics Lab are (from left) Brad Conklin, instructor of diesel equipment technology; Justin Beishline, assistant dean of diesel technology and natural resources; Bradley Webb, dean of engineering technologies; Tony Wiser, Kenworth of Pennsylvania's director of service operations; Frank Miller, executive vice president of Kenworth of Pennsylvania and Motor Truck Thermo King; Jost Otstott, service manager at Kenworth's Muncy branch; Nevin Weaver, Muncy branch manager; Nesli Alp, vice president for academic affairs/provost; Elizabeth Biddle, senior corporate relations director; and John Motto, instructor of diesel equipment technology.
Frank Miller, executive vice president of Kenworth of Pennsylvania and Motor Truck Thermo King, gathers with Penn College diesel technology students in the Motor Truck Thermo King Refrigeration Lab. From left are Evan Buisch, of Arkport, N.Y.; Ryan J. Santora, of Norwalk, Conn.; Miller; and Nickolette Breauchy, of Jersey Shore.
Beishline presented a certificate of appreciation to Frank Miller, executive vice president of Kenworth of Pennsylvania and Motor Truck Thermo King, who spoke about the family-owned companies’ culture and historic growth “from humble beginnings.”
“We’re not employing parts-changers, we’re employing problem-solvers,” Miller said. “We’re not employing mechanics, because there’s very little mechanical about today’s vehicles. We’re employing technicians … and technicians are our lifeblood,” representing one-third of the 300-member workforce. “Without them, we don’t have a company.”
“This is a rare institution,” he told students, “giving you a foundation not just on the truck side, but on the transport and refrigeration side. Penn College is so valuable to us.” That value will become even more important as Kenworth – a participant in the college’s Corporate Tomorrow Maker program – embraces an imminent future that includes electric, hydrogen fuel-cell and autonomous vehicles.
“It’s where we’re headed, more rapidly in the next 10 years than in the last 30,” he said. “And the next generation of technicians? You’re right here in front of me.”
Miller was followed at the podium by Tony Wiser, director of service operations, who offered brief remarks before staffing a recruitment table in the refrigeration lab. “I started just where you are,” said the 20-year employee, who now oversees nine service departments.
Others at the recognition ceremony included Nevin Weaver, manager of Kenworth’s Muncy branch; Jost Otstott, Muncy service manager; Michael Patterson, Muncy lead technician and a 2018 Penn College alumnus; and Amy Myers, human resources manager.
Miller, Wiser and Weaver are members of the diesel advisory committee; and Weaver’s sister, Nickolette S. Breauchy, of Jersey Shore, is a first-year student in the college’s diesel technology major.
For more about Penn College’s School of Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.