Executives with Navistar and City Colleges of Chicago are celebrating the opening of the Diesel Technology Program at the brand-new Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) Center at Olive-Harvey College, which will welcome its inaugural class of technicians next week. To help accelerate and enrich the College’s educational offering, Navistar donated International® trucks, along with engines and other relevant equipment to the College.
“Through the input and support of outstanding industry partners like Navistar, we are providing Chicago residents with a pathway to middle-class careers through certificates and degrees that provide them with the skills and experience employers value for in-demand jobs in the local and regional economy,” said Kimberly Hollingsworth, president, Olive-Harvey College. “We thank Navistar for enthusiastically stepping up to support the development of the first-of-its-kind facility in Illinois and helping us bring this career training program to the residents of Chicago.”
The TDL Center is a new, 103,000-square-foot facility that was designed with input from City Colleges’ faculty and industry partners to prepare students with the skills necessary for the tens of thousands of in-demand TDL jobs expected to come to the region over the next decade.Projections from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show that the need for diesel technicians will continue to grow, increasing nine percent from 2016 to 2026, with nearly 1,000 annual job openings needing to be filled. The median estimated wage for a diesel technician in Cook County is $58,010, according to state records. At the same time, recent figures from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence show that the number of truck-specific technicians holding appropriate certifications has declined nearly 3% year over year.
“To help address the technician shortage and close the skills gap, Navistar supports STEM education opportunities and career training programs like the ones at the TDL Center at Olive-Harvey,” said Kristin Sattayatam, director of employee communications and community relations, Navistar. “We believe the industry must work with education providers to recruit and train workers for needed positions at a rapid pace. Navistar is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to an educational program that will change the life trajectory for students by providing them with the skills and certifications to attain economic independence through a great career.”
The new TDL Center features eight automotive and diesel engine laboratories and an engine dynamometer for students learning to be technicians; two simulated driving facilities for CDL classes; a testing area; and vehicle bays for various automotive technology programs. The program was designed to be able to accommodate up to 3,000 diesel technology students over the next 10 years.
Navistar is one of numerous employers that supported the development of the TDL Center’s educational programs. Other major employers supporting the new program include Ozinga, CTA, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, ComEd, J.B. Hunt, UPS, Schneider National, FedEx, Coyote Logistics, US Xpress, Walmart and Dakkota Integrated Systems.
For more information about the programs, or to enroll at Olive-Harvey College, residents can visit www.ccc.edu/tdl or call (773)-COLLEGE.