Representatives from Daimler Trucks North America and Stoops Freightliner presented Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne with a new Freightliner semi-truck in the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne auto bay on Wednesday. Ivy Tech Fort Wayne is receiving the truck as part of Daimler’s Get Ahead program. Schools who are ranked in the top 40 programs are eligible to receive Freightliners at a third of the cost. Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s diesel technology program is ranked 20th out of 283 schools nationwide. The Freightliner is valued at $38,349. Stoops and Daimler will pay $25,566 and Ivy Tech will cover the remaining $12,783.
“Ivy Tech’s active participation in Daimler’s Get Ahead program has earned them access to this vehicle cost sharing program, which Stoops Freightliner is more than happy to support with our third of the vehicle purchase,” said Nick Lengacher, General Manager of Fort Wayne and Fremont Stoops Freightliner & Western Star. “Our industry currently has a significant shortage of skilled technicians. Between the aging workforce and Daimler’s increased market share in recent years, we know this situation will only get more challenging in the future. We cannot solve this problem alone, which is why we are sincerely grateful for Ivy Tech leveraging the OEM specific resources made available to them.”
The truck will be used by students in Ivy Tech Fort Wayne’s diesel technology program and will allow them to train on new technologies on their way to becoming diesel technologists. With continuing impacts of Covid-19, trained diesel techs are more critical than ever to our nation’s supply chain infrastructure.
“This is providing their graduates a leg up as they enter the workforce already familiar with our products,” said Lengacher. “Partnering with Ivy Tech is simply a natural fit, offering a rewarding career to students who have already invested in an education that includes much of the same curriculum required for our manufacturer certifications. Stoops is excited for the future of this partnership, the impact it will have on students’ education, and getting our customers’ trucks back on the road faster as a result!”
Training on the new Freightliner will give Ivy Tech Fort Wayne students hands-on experiences with the most up-to-date technologies in the field. The technician career now requires computer savvy and problem solving along with technical knowledge. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2020 median salary for diesel technicians was $50,200/yr.
“I chose the diesel technology program because I want to get hands on with things, really anything with wheels,” said Steve Reed, Ivy Tech Fort Wayne diesel technology student. “The field is advancing, and you’re always going to need diesel technicians no matter what. This new truck is going to have more features, more bells and whistles, and new technologies for us to learn on. We’re lucky to have it.”