Conestoga news

January 18, 2015 4:23 AM

Open House highlights opportunities in the trucking industry

It’s steady work with a lucrative hourly rate of up to $40.

But many high school students just don’t think much about a career as a diesel mechanic when they are looking at educational opportunities.

“There is a huge shortage of diesel mechanics,” explained Carrier Centers Woodstock dealership service manager Dave Williams. “It’s something people have lost interest in over the years.”

Carrier Centers provides sales, leasing, parts and service of all medium, heavy and super duty International trucks, while also providing parts, sales, and service of emergency vehicles and trailers.

On Monday the Athlone Place facility opened its door to 60 high school students from Brampton and London “to motivate interest in a career in diesel mechanics.”

“It’s good, solid, reliable work that will always be there,” Williams said. “Transportation is how every good and product gets moved around.”

The open house was also designed to draw attention to the International Technical Education Program (ITEP) offered at Conestoga College, which is a joint venture between Navistar and International dealers.

“It trains students to work on International trucks,” explained Ashley Hunter, marketing co-ordinator for Carrier Centres of the program. “A lot of students don’t know about all the opportunities available in the transportation industry — we wanted (the students) to learn all about opportunities for technicians. It is profitable and the tuition is really affordable.”

Hunter said with tuition costs rising and with so many competing for job opportunities, becoming an apprentice and taking the training is a viable career path.

“It’s not necessarily a field they would have thought about,” she said. “If you do well and apply yourself, you will become a technician. There is a position available for you.”

This story by Heather Rivers originally appeared in the Woodstock Sentinel Review on December 8, 2014. Reprinted with permission.